The January 2013 fire that destroyed Youell’s, also took the honey bee colonies housed on the roof of the restaurant. Amazingly, while sifting though the debris a week after the fire, a cluster of bees was found clinging to a charred bee hive. Despite fire, smoke, water and single digit temperatures, these bees survived. Over the next summer season, this colony was split, and swarmed twice, to result in four colonies of bees and a good crop of honey. The foundation of the new Youell’s apiary.
Our honey is produced by a traditional method that beekeepers have been using for generations. Honey has long been known for its anti-microbial properties, and contains many minerals and enzymes. Throughout history, honey has been recognized for its health benefits. The bees collect the nectar of flowering plants and trees from each of our locations in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Peaks Island, Maine. We refer to our honey as “multi-floral”, because the nectar is gathered from a wide variety of plants which bloom for varying lengths of time throughout the seasons. Some of the predominant contributors are Black Locust, Tulip Poplar and Linden trees, Honeysuckle, Clovers, Sumac, Raspberry, Thistle, Milkweed, Goldenrod and Asters. Of course, honey bees are most often observed in the garden. The nectar gathered from Lavender, Thyme, and other flowering garden and meadow plants add their own unique characteristics. Honey is generally lighter in color early in the season and darker in the late summer and fall. Our honey tends to be a golden color due to the variety sources throughout the seasons. Most honey will granulate over time. Referred to as “creamed” honey, this version is how most honey is consumed in other parts of the world. Gently warming a jar of granulated honey in a pan of water will return it to a liquid state.
A honeybee visits between 50 and 100 flowers during each collection flight. The nectar collected is deposited in a cell within the hive and is fanned by the wings of worker bees to reduce the moisture content of the nectar and turn it into honey. A colony of honeybees must fly 55,000 miles to produce one pound of honey, and each hive produces over to 200 pounds – for the bees and the beekeeper. The average honeybee produces only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. During peak season, a colony may contain upwards of 50,000 bees, and the queen may lay 2000 eggs per day. Although the sole queen bee may live several years, individual honeybees have a relatively short life of several weeks.
In addition to producing honey, bees pollinate 80% of the fruits, vegetable and seed crops in the United States. This translates into a 14.6 billion dollar annual value.
We also operate an Apiary in the Casco Bay region of Maine near Portland. Nectar and pollen sources include the blooming fruits, such as blueberries, apples, raspberries, as well as beach roses and milkweed. Peaks Island Honey is available at our seasonal stand at Evergreen beach, or contact us for more information and availability: info@YouellsOysterHouse.com
Our honey is different than most that is purchased supermarkets. It completely natural and raw. We do not filter or heat it. We do not use any chemicals or drugs on our bees. Please contact us for additional information or to purchase our products.
Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture
Maine Dept. of Agriculture