The folks at Westwind Orchard, in the shadows of the Catskills in New York’s Hudson Valley, fell in love with bees—and the sweet fruits of their labor—circa 2008. Since then, their orchard has been home to Italian and Russian bee colonies—pretty impressive bee lineages. Commercial apiaries often clip the wings of the queens, thus curbing their ability to swarm. Westwind lets their bees swarm free.
The beekeepers leave plenty of honey for their colonies to feast upon (the bees also forage on a smorgasbord of organic buckwheat, yellow mustard, and peas). The rest of the honey gets collected and sold, because we—and you—are the luckiest. It even won a 2015 Good Food Award. The raw, unprocessed nectar is redolent of fresh flowers and carmelized sugar. Drizzle on ricotta or yogurt; glaze veggies, ham, or chicken wings. Or serve with fresh chevre or punchy blue cheese. We’re beelievers.