To see the process of honey making in full -- from the collection of flower pollen by the bees to the pressing of the honey right out of the beeswax -- visit a real working apiary. Not only will you get to watch the production in action, but you will get to sample the sweet wares. California, with its diverse natural habitats and abundance of wildflowers, is prime honey-making turf, and many different apiaries are open to the public.
Visit Pacific Crest Apiaries (pacificcrestapiaries.com). Located in the town of Watsonville on the California central coast, Pacific Coast Apiaries makes honey from local wildflowers in the area. Several apiaries are located on the premises and the entire complex is open to the general public for visitation from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. An on-site gift shop sells a variety of honeys and honey-related products like beeswax candles and raw honeycomb. Tastings of the various honeys are available at the gift shop as well.
Visit Strachan Apiaries (strachanbees.com). Located in Yuba City, in the central valley of California, Strachan Apiaries is dedicated to breeding and producing the New World Carniolan Queen Bee; in fact, they are the world's largest producer of this honeymaking bee. Strachan Apiaries offers visitors a chance to see bee breeding and hive maintenance in action, with more than 10,000 hives swarming with live colonies. Strachan is open to the public by appointment only.
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