Varietal honeys can be as varied and distinct as glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. For this Sips and Bites, Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute, spoke with Sola Bee Farms founders Trevor and Claire Tauzer, who produce an array of varietal honeys from sustainably-managed beehives. They discussed how sustainable beekeeping is key to the future of agriculture, and how they collect distinct varietals from various apiaries.
Trevor Tauzer is the beekeeper and general manager of Tauzer Apiaries/Sola Bee Farms. He grew up beekeeping with his father, and has kept bees that have pollinated crops throughout Yolo and surrounding counties. In 2002, he left his family farm to attend the University of California, Santa Cruz, then graduated and returned to beekeeping in 2008. Trevor created Sola Bee Farms in 2011 to sell their family produced varietal honey directly to customers. Trevor enjoys running his 2nd generation family business with his wife Claire, and teaching their 3.5 year old and 1 year old about honey bees.
Claire Tauzer is the community outreach and brand manager of Tauzer Apiaries/Sola Bee Farms. A former high school teacher, Claire uses her education background to help communicate and promote the importance of professional pollination and the benefits of local varietal honey. Sola Bee Farm’s Wild Blackberry honey won a Good Food Award in 2019. She volunteers her time for the Woodland Bee City Committee, Yolo Food Bank and Yolo CASA. Claire and Trevor do their best to balance the needs of their honey and bee business with their buzzing baby boys (3 years and 1 year) at home.
Moderator Amina Harris is the director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute. She owns Z Specialty Food, whose American varietal honeys have won awards from the Specialty Food Association and the National Honey Board.
Sola Bee honeys are available online and at a variety of locations throughout Northern California. We tasted their Wild Blackberry, Black Button Sage, and Sacramento Valley Wildflower.
Bees and Wildfires:
The recent wave of Northern California wildfires have devastated many regional beekeepers. Read more about their plight, and how to help, at Bug Squad, a publication of the the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. "Clay's Bees: The Bees, They're Gone" and "The People, The Bees, and the Fires" by Kathy Keatley Garvey.
This event is part of the Sips and Bites series, which explores the stories behind foods and drinks with winemakers, brewers, and culinary innovators with tastings and conversations about what inspires them to make their wines, beers, and foods.