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What’s the buzz with bees? September is National Honey Month, which is sweet news indeed.
Here at Eighth Generation, we have a hive of Bee Supportive Enamel Pins by Michelle Lowden (Acoma Pueblo). The pins feature the world’s most important pollinator in its distinctive black and yellow stripes, with the addition of Pueblo designs on her wings. These flew off the shelves last Christmas, destined for stockings near and far.
Recently, a swarm of these pins found a new hive at the Salish Lodge. Just like Eighth Generation, Salish Lodge & Spa is owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Last month, each team member at the Lodge was given a bee pin in commemoration of two things: Snoqualmie Tribe’s partnership with Eighth Generation, and the Lodge celebrating its highest guestroom revenue month in its history! The pins are a fun addition to the Lodge uniforms and are already sparking conversations between guests and team members.
Salish Lodge & Spa team members wearing their Bee Supportive Enamel Pins on their work lapels
Bees are hard workers who pull together to support one another and their home, so our Bee Supportive Enamel Pins are a fitting emblem for this hardworking team. But that’s not the only reason bees make sense to represent the Salish Lodge: the Lodge is home to its very own apiary of twelve hives full of Italian honeybees.
A honeybee collects pollen from a lavender plant
Nestled amongst trees (and behind a fence for safety) above the Snoqualmie Falls, the apiary is tended by Daniel Sullivan, a life-long Washington State resident and affectionately known as the “Beeman” around the Lodge. Daniel’s work with the Salish Lodge began in 2011, but his family’s beekeeper knowledge goes back three generations, and extends to his own young son. With five generations of expertise and interest, bringing Daniel on board was, as the Lodge says, “a match made in honey heaven.”
Daniel with a honeybee; photo courtesy Salish Lodge & Spa
Salish Lodge & Spa joined with Daniel 10 years ago in an effort to combat dwindling bee populations, both locally and globally. "While a lot of organizations are talking about the issue, very few are taking action,” says Daniel. “It is incredible to see Salish Lodge & Spa taking that initiative and stepping up to the plate. As a community we have to buy local and produce what we're able to; it is so fundamentally critical to the future of food.”
Outside of his work with the Lodge, Daniel owns Shipwreck Honey with his wife, Tiffany. Together with their young son, the couple have their business and home “nestled in the vast, fertile regions surrounding (Seattle) with an emphasis on honeybee health.” Shipwreck Honey is known for its holistic approach to honey harvest and beekeeping, bringing their honey and knowledge to market. Including the Salish Lodge hives, Daniel looks after approximately 140 hives each year, and each colony produces anywhere from 150 to 200 pounds a season.
Back at the Lodge, the apiary produces honey for both the gift shop, The Country Store, and the Lodge’s restaurants, The Dining Room and The Lounge at The Attic. While honey gifts are some of the most popular items purchased from The Country Store, honey is no less popular in the two restaurants. Alan Stephens, Salish Lodge & Spa General Manager, said, “We offer honey at every meal period as part of our dishes—in fact, about sixty percent of our dishes feature it!”
Honey-themed items for sale in The Country Store and Bee Supportive Enamel Pins
For National Honey Month, The Dining Room has a special Honey Month Tasting Menu, featuring a four-course meal with honey gracing and glazing everything from root vegetables to chicken to leafy greens and dessert. Honey features large in The Dining Room’s typical dishes, as Alan shared, so no matter the season, diners can enjoy some of the freshest, most local honey they have likely ever tasted. “My favorite guilty pleasure dish is easy,” says Alan. “It’s our Northwest Grits & Cheese Curds. It features Salish honey, roasted corn, and chives.”
While all honey is delicious, there's something special about the honey produced by the bees of Salish Lodge and Spa. Daniel attributes its unique flavor to the land the bees live and feed on. "It's a phenomenal slice of the land," he says. "It has a language all its own that tells the story of the forest, the river, and everything in between."
Whether you’re celebrating National Honey Month, spending some time at the Lodge, or shopping with Eighth Generation, bees loom large in our stories. Make sure to get your Bee Supportive Enamel Pin on our website, and be sure to learn more about Salish Lodge & Spa and their apiary on their website.