Ocotillo, cactus, broom weed, burro weed, desert buckwheat, desert bird or paradise, mimosa, and mesquite.
Rodeo, New Mexico
In the fall, as the weather gets cold in Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado we take the bees to Rodeo, New Mexico.
Rodeo is located in the San Simon Valley, at the base of the Chiricahua Mountains, on the border of New Mexico and Arizona about 30miles South of I-10. We came here as a result of fortuitous events. In the 1970’s a man by the name of Dan Shultz moved to Rodeo and started keeping bees. He liked the desert and especially liked that the desert provided an abundance of organic forage for the bees. Over 20 years he ran Rodeo Honey Company, supplying towns in the area with quality local honey. Dan passed away in 2007 at the same time we were looking for new place to winter the bees. We subsequently bought the remaining bees and locations.
The bees, after a hard summers work “vacation” in the warm desert where their chances of survival through winter is substantially increased. This move extends the fall forage late in to early November and by late November the bees are begin to wind down and go dormant for winter.
There are two scenarios that typically happen in the Chiricahua desert in the spring. The first scenario is that the desert receives good winter and spring rain and as a result it comes alive with flora and flowers. When this happens the bees collect hundreds of different nectars at the same time and make what we call “Desert Wild Flower”. Among the plants are: ocotillo, cactus, broom weed, burro weed, desert buckwheat, desert bird or paradise, mimosa , and common mesquite.
The second scenario is that there are virtually no winter or spring rains but the previous summer rains were good. In which case the wild flowers do not bloom but the common mesquite, the most hardy of almost any desert plant, will bloom. The deep roots of the mesquite can tap the ground moisture from the previous summer. When this happens the bees make pure mesquite honey. Pure mesquite is water white and a taste that so unique it is indescribable. It granulates with a natural creaminess. We sell very little of this honey opting instead to use it as a catalyst for cream honey.
This year the first scenario played out. The honey was a true wildflower but you will notice that it granulates fast and smooth and has an incredible finish. This is due to the large amount of mesquite that the bees collected along with the other nectar.
Posted by Louella on 10th Apr 2013
Love ths honey, the flavor is sweet but not too sweet. I put this honey in my coffee, tea and hot cereals as well as on bread. A case of this honey makes a wonderful gift for special friends.
Posted by Jillian on 8th Feb 2013
This is possibly the best honey I've ever tasted. The flavors are rich and complex, sweet without being cloying or sugary, full-bodied and thick, with a incredibly smooth finish. Heavenly honey. I can't get enough of it!
Posted by Sheryl on 6th Feb 2013
This is a very nice honey. Just the right amount of sweetness, nice aroma and smooth, rich flavor. I use it mainly to sweeten my tea, but I think it would be wonderful on a biscuit or slice of bread.