Recently Chef Alex’s Farm to Table menu at Hualani’s featured a sweet combination, the Hōkūala Honeycomb and Kaua`i Kunana Dairy goat cheese salad. In an effort to source as many fresh local ingredients possible, the Farm at Hōkūala often partners with fisherman, ranchers, and in this case, dairy farms! But, the honey and honeycomb found in some delectible dishes from Hualani’s is cultivated right here on property at our very own apiary, started in 2018.
Simply put, an apiary is the place where bees and their hives are kept. Those wary of bees need not worry when visiting the Farm at Hōkūala, as our honeybees have close to 17 acres to buzz about. Honeybees thrive in the lush natural surroundings on our organic farm which includes a coconut grove, vegetable, herb, and flower gardens and an abundance of flowering tropical trees in the fruit orchards. The reciprocal relationship between the crops and the honeybees is an important one to maintain, as they are both dependent on each other. The honeybees pollinate the plants, and the thriving plants provide the honeybees their nectar – which in turn becomes Hōkūala Honey. Small batch candles are sometimes made using the wax from the hives as well, and bee balms are created containing the bee propolis and beeswax.
The Farm at Hōkūala has a total of ten hives. Two of the hives are visible in the fruit orchard, and the remaining hives are tucked deeper into the wild to give the bees more privacy. The bees are carefully looked after by Mike Yolo, The Farm at Hōkūala’s beekeeper. The ten Hōkūala beehives produce approximately 120 gallons of honey each year. The honey harvest takes place every four months and the batches of honey are a light amber color with a floral flavor.
Honey for Health
Our honey is used by Hualani’s for various dishes and cocktails, and the raw honey is also offered as an owner and guest amenity. Hōkūala Honey Mango Jam and Hōkūala Honey Cacao Mac Nut Spread are among the delicious creations forged from the mighty honeybee. As decadent as those sound, raw honey is actually quite good for you.
- Rich in antioxidants – Honey contains a number of antioxidants, including phenolic acids and flavonoids.
- Good mood food – Studies suggest that honey might offer antidepressant, anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety benefits.
- Blood sugar booster – Honey can help balance blood sugar more effectively than regular sugar.
- Heart health – Honey has been linked to beneficial effects on heart health, including reduced blood pressure and blood fat levels. (Obviously, in small doses.)
- Cold remedy – Honey has been proven to aid as a cough suppressant, especially when combined with citrus.
The apiary’s goal for 2023 is to expand to 20 hives and to transition to offering more honeycomb in addition to the raw honey for the farm-to-table fare offered at Hualani’s Restaurant every Tuesday evening.
Hankering for more honey? Check out our Farm Honey Basil Limeade recipe.