Most Frequent Questions and Answers

Who is Marie?

Marie was my husband’s grandmother. More accurately, Marie was everyone’s lovely little Italian grandmother who loved to feed strangers, family and friends. While we have no children to name after her, christening our buzzing little enterprise ‘Marie’s Bees’ honors her sweetness, her heart and her optimism. If she were still with us, she would LOVE to be part of Marie’s Bees. We are blessed to carry on her legacy.

What is Oxymel and how do I use it?

Working with Em’s Herbals and Apple State Vinegar, we’ve boosted our honey’s curative properties using a recipe straight from Grandma Marie’s cookbook. The resulting elixir can be used to create salad dressings, mock-tails or cocktails, or even taken straight. A swig a day can give you a boost if you’re feeling under the weather!

How do I use the Hot + Honey?

Toss veggies, meats or tofu in our Hot & Honey before grilling for a taste treat. We also love it drizzled over chicken wings, waffles or cornbread.

Hazelnuts & Honey is one of my favorites! I need more ideas please.

You can spread Hazelnuts & Honey liberally on toast, biscuits or cornbread. Hazelnuts & Honey adds delicious elegance to ice cream, cheesecake and brie too!

How do you stay flush with honey year round?

We are a collective of small but mighty beekeepers spread throughout the Pacific Northwest, mainly in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. All of our honey is single-origin, produced using sustainable beekeeping practices.

My honey turned to crystal before I could use all of it. Should I throw it away?

No! Crystallization is natural for pure honey, showing that, unlike many commercial brands, it hasn’t been cut with fillers like corn syrup. It hasn’t gone bad; it’s pure, authentic bee-utiful honey! You can still use your honey, crystals and all, on warm toast, muffins, or in a warm beverage. You can also bring honey gently back to its liquid state by placing the jar in warm water, under 104 degrees. Honey should never be heated rapidly over direct heat or microwaved as excessive heat has detrimental effects its nutritional value. At just 98.6 degrees honey can lose nearly 200 beneficial components, many of which are antibacterial. So be patient and change the hot water as needed to fully melt the crystals. Pure honey is worth the wait!

Is honey from Marie’s Bees organic?

While our collective is extremely conscientious about the products used around our bees, honeybees can travel up to eight miles from the hive to collect pollen. A beekeeper would have to control all the land within eight miles in any direction and assure that pesticides/ herbicides have never been used on lands in the vicinity. This makes the production of organic honey nearly impossible in the US.

Can I use honey for wound care?

Honey has antibacterial properties that promotes of wounds, minor cuts, stings and burns. Honey can also be used to sooth a sore throat.

What is creamed honey?

Creamed honey is made by mixing crystallized honey and liquefied honey. Once honey has reached a creamed state it is smooth, creamy and rarely crystallizes.

What is bee pollen and do you sell it?

Marie’s Bees does not sell pollen. Collecting pollen is honey bees’ vocation. They spend their days visiting trees and flowers to take precious pollen back to the hive. Some beekeepers place tight gates leading into the hive so the pollen is brushed off as the bees enter. This pollen is then sold as a treatment for allergies.

With so much bee habitat under threat and the proliferation of herbicides and pesticides, we feel our bees need all the pollen they can collect.

What is propolis? Do you sell it?

Yes, we carry Propolis.

Propolis is a mix of beeswax, sap, nectars and saliva. The bees make this dark brown substance to fill in small holes in the hive to keep the weather out. Beekeepers collect it by scrapping the edge of the frames in the hives to keep things neat and tidy.  It has been known to have healing properties some believe it helps with inflammation, indigestion, diabetes, acne and more. Propolis is commonly found in toothpaste, ointments, creams and throat sprays.

What is Royal Jelly? Do you sell it?

Bees in the larva stage are fed royal jelly only if they are to become a queen bee. Queens are the only bee in the hive that can reproduce. Royal Jelly is commonly used as a nutritional aid taken internally and externally. No, we do not sell Royal Jelly.

What’s the big deal, don’t all bees make honey?

There are an estimated 20,000 varieties of bees in the world. Only seven are known to produce honey.

I think I would like to try beekeeping. How would I get started?

There are so many resources available for budding beekeepers. You can:

  • Watch YouTube videos about honey bees and beekeeping
  • Visit web sites hosted by beekeepers to share their beekeeping stories
  • Attend talks and presentations about beekeeping
  • Buy or borrow books about beekeeping
  • Should you decide to take the leap, your local beekeeping club or association will be a tremendous source of support and community information.

Here are a few of my favorites:

What type of hives do you use?

Most of the beekeepers in our collective use Langstroth hives which are vertical hives where the bees enter from the bottom. In a Langstroth hive, bees build honeycomb into frames which can easily be removed to harvest the honey. These vertical hives are likely the type most are familiar with.

Some of our members prefer top-bar hives. These are horizontal hives, usually about twice as wide as a Langstroth hive, where combs hang in a single row from removable bars.

We may be adding a Ukranian style beehouse this year. Ukranian style hives mimic traditional, folk craft beekeeping. The hive is created from a log, with the inner portion of the log hollowed out and then hung on a tree or house.

You must get stung a lot! How do you treat a bee sting?

A honey bee will sting if she thinks her hive or her life is threatened. Once she stings, a honey bee cannot pull her stinger back out. If you are stung, remove the stinger immediately as it will continue to pump venom even after detached from the bee. We recommend essential oils to calm the sting site. We call it the TLP Method: Tea Tree Oil, Lavender and Peppermint. Tea Tree Oil will counteract the acid in the venom. Lavender to reduce swelling and Peppermint to sooth pain. Take Benadryl and rest.


Some people are highly allergic to bee stings. Should you experience excessive swelling, rash or have diffculty breathing, call 911 immediately.

Want To Help The Bees?

I would like to plant a bee-friendly garden.
Do you have a list of plants the bees love?

Absolutely and thank you for doing your part. Click here for a list of bee friendly plants.

How can I help the bees?

Most honey bees are female and workaholics. They need a large amount of pollen and nectar every day. Trees comprise 90% of their diet so keeping trees and greenways healthy and intact helps support their colonies. Limiting or abolishing the use of pesticides keeps the population safe and thriving.

Support your local beekeepers by ensuring that all the honey you buy is from the US.

Pesticides to Avoid

Below is a list of commonly–used household pesticides to avoid to help preserve honey bee populations. Limiting or abolishing the use of pesticides that contain any of the neonicotinoids will also help:

Thanks for thinking of the bees.