The Latest “Buzz” at the Woodmark
Honey has long been known for its natural ability to sweeten up any dessert, provide a tasty drizzle on top of cheese and as a soothing remedy for a sore throat. Now, as part of the Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa’s latest program, “Bee on the Lake,” Seattle-area residents will have the chance to taste a buzz-worthy batch of golden honey produced by 180,000 Italian honeybees and six queen bees housed just steps from the property.
Once settled in, it is expected that the six hives of bees, which are located on top of a Carillon Point rooftop near the Woodmark, will begin producing honey around mid-July. At the end of production in September, the Woodmark will have approximately 1,200 pounds of honey to work with, and with that impressive number in mind, has already begun planning how to best use the locally-produced product.
“We began preparing for the arrival of our honeybees several months ago, and have dreamt up all the different ways we want to use the honey,” said John Murphy, general manager of the Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa. “Now that they have finally arrived, we have plans to use the harvested product at our restaurant, bin on the lake, in honey and ginger glazed chicken, honey crème brulee and panna cotta, in beer and the French 75, a specialty cocktail. It may even make appearances in treatments at our spa, Northwest Face, or as an in-room amenity for our hotel guests.”
To keep each of the 20 by 10 inch bee hives in tiptop shape, bin on the lake’s Chef de Cuisine Dylan Giordan is taking on the role of beekeeper under the guidance of Daniel Sullivan of Shipwreck Honey, who oversees more than 40 hives in the Seattle-area. Every couple of weeks, Giordan and Sullivan will slip on beekeeper suits to harvest the honey. This involves puffing smoke into the hives to encourage the bees to exit, and then scraping the honeycomb to release the delicious golden honey. The process is not an easy one, involving cleaning and filtering the honey many times over before it is ready for consumption, but the end product is worth it.