Yes! Honey

"Bee inspired" by our new environmental initiative!

Many diverse species of wildlife inhabit our lush 2,300 acres, but did you know that Mirasol is also home to thousands of busy bees?

In an ongoing effort to advance our sustainable resource management practices as a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, Golf Course Maintenance Director Michael Thomas engaged beekeeper Sierra Malnove to install 20 beehives in remote parts of our community in February 2019.

From apples to broccoli to almonds and coffee, bees are responsible for pollinating a majority of the food we eat. As a result of lack of habitat due to urban sprawl and environmental factors, bees are dying. In 2017, the first bee was added to the endangered species list. Through our exciting “Bee Inspired” initiative, we hope to slow this population decline.

Did you know that the flavor profile of honey can vary depending on what is in bloom at the time the honey is created? With bees getting most of their nectar from trees, we will have no shortage of plants for these purposeful pollinators! The first harvest of our very own brand, Yes! Honey, took place in May 2019 and yielded more than 320 pounds of honey, and in our first full year of the program, we harvested over 800 pounds in total.

Think outside the teacup! Honey is also a great complement to cooked or cured meats and salty, hard cheeses. Watch for the special “Bee Inspired” logo on our menus, which indicates the Mirasol recipes that include our very own honey. From appetizers to desserts and delicious cocktails, we have big plans for our quarterly harvests!

In addition to the culinary uses we’re planning, we have also produced a nourishing lip balm with our beeswax, which is now available for purchase in the Golf Pro Shop and Tennis Center! You’ll love its sweet scent and moisturizing qualities so much, you’ll want to grab one for your purse, your desk, your home... anywhere you need relief from dry lips. We have also begun offering several lines of luxurious beauty products in The Spa and Salon. Stay tuned for details about future uses for Yes! Honey!

Watch our social media channels for posts tagged with #beeinspiredmirasol to learn more about the process our honey goes through from the hive to your home. “Bee” educated! If you have questions about our initiative or our bees, please send a message to [email protected].
  • Honey Bees at Mirasol?
      There are nearly 650,000 honey bee colonies in Florida, and bees existed at Mirasol before we started keeping them. If we weren’t keeping managed colonies of pollinators, a higher incidence of less favorable colonies could occur in our area that may be dangerous or invasive to our lifestyle.

      The state of Florida Apiary Department estimates that 90%+ of feral honey bee colonies in South Florida are “Africanized.” Africanized honey bees look the same as European honey bees but can display a more aggressive approach to defending their colony when threatened. In areas with higher densities of people, there are fewer beekeepers keeping track of the genetics of the honey bee populations which leads to higher populations of feral bees that swarm more often and may become aggressive when threatened. By managing gentle European honey bee colonies at Mirasol, we are providing competition for surrounding populations of feral colonies and providing mating opportunities for the feral populations to help decrease the Africanized bee population genetics in our area.

      The most important part of this program was choosing the location for our colonies. The two locations where our hives are located - Golf Course Maintenance facility and the Loxahatchee slough - were selected for the safety of our members. Constant maintenance by our beekeeper ensures that the occupants of our hives will stay busy and we will safely enjoy the sweetest part of the deal: the honey!
  • Our beekeeper

    • Our beekeeper, Sierra Malnove, is the mother of three wonderful children. Sierra's partner, Al Salopek, is a bee removal specialist and gave her her first beehive in 2012. They share their life with 11 Nubian goats, 50 chickens, 3 Great Pyrenees, and 500 hives on their 12-acre farm in Northern Palm Beach County. After going from 1 to 400 hives in her first 3 years as a beekeeper, you could say she is passionate about beekeeping.

      Sierra was the Speaker Coordinator 2013-2015 and the elected Vice President of Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association in 2015. In 2014 and 2019, Sierra coordinated two of the most successful Florida State Beekeepers Association Conferences in recent history. In 2014, Sierra co-founded the Florida Backyard Beekeepers Association (FBBA), a non-profit organization to help mentor the smaller scale beekeepers.

      Sierra enjoys teaching backyard beekeeping courses and helping people to discover their beekeeping potential while connecting beekeepers through Florida's Beekeeping Organizations..

      Sierra is a Certified queen raiser, offering queen bees primarily to Florida's growing population of small-scale beekeepers. She offers private hive management for over 100 colonies mostly on country club golf courses and mentors on many levels with guided beekeeping lessons. Sierra's goal is for everyone to have a positive experience with bees.

  • Bee Safety

    • There are over 500,000 honey bee colonies in Florida, and bees existed at Mirasol long before we started keeping them! Although constant maintenance by our beekeeper ensures that the occupants of our hives will stay busy and we will safely enjoy the honey they produce, it is still wise to "bee smart" around stinging insects by following these tips:

      • Bees are attracted to sweet scents, so avoid wearing flowery perfumes or leaving sugary food out
      • When drinking sweet beverages outside, check cans and straws for insects before drinking
      • Guard your face and neck, the most common places for bees to sting
      • If you are stung, apply hydrocortisone cream to ease itching or stinging sensation
      • Leave the immediate area, because bee stings release a chemical that attracts other bees to the scene
      • Scrape a bee stinger off with a fingernail or dull object—do not pull out using tweezers
      • If a swarm of bees is attacking, rather than trying to swat them away, get into a closed area, “play dead,” or dive into water
      • If you have experienced an allergic reaction to a bee sting before, professionals recommend carrying an EpiPen with you at all times.
  • From the Hive to your Home
    • From Bee
      Honey starts as flower nectar collected by bees, which gets broken down into simple sugars stored inside the honeycomb. The design of the honeycomb and constant fanning of the bees' wings causes evaporation, creating sweet liquid honey. Honey's color and flavor varies based on the nectar collected by the bees. For example, honey made from orange blossom nectar might be light in color, whereas honey from avocado or wildflowers might have a dark amber color.

      To Hive
      Beekeepers harvest honey by collecting the honeycomb frames and scraping off the wax cap that bees make to seal off honey in each cell. Once the caps are removed, the frames are placed in an extractor, a centrifuge that spins the frames, forcing honey out of the comb.

      To Home
      After the honey is extracted, it’s strained to remove any remaining wax and other particles. Yes! Honey is raw and not pasteurized through a heating process. After straining, it's time to bottle, label, and deliver to Mirasol! It doesn't matter if the container is glass or plastic, or if the honey is purchased at the Club, the grocery store, or a farmers’ market. If the ingredient label says “pure honey,” nothing was added from bee to hive to bottle.

      Interested in more information about honey? Click here to visit the National Honey Board website!
  • Media Coverage
    • We are proud to have been covered in the Palm Beach Post and on WPTV! 

      Mirasol's hives yield palm honey for club
      September 27, 2019

      WPTV News, West Palm Beach

      WPEC News, West Palm Beach