Learn A Drinking Fountain Fit for Bees
Soaring redwoods reach toward the sun-filled sky while the leaves of wide-reaching oak trees rustle in the cool morning breeze. The natural beauty of the canyon surrounds me as I head out for a morning of exploring The Chef’s Garden at Calistoga Ranch.
As I make my way down the path to check out the garden and pay a visit to the resort’s chickens and goats, I run across a large water trough filled with hundreds of floating corks. I pause to watch as Juan Luis, the resort’s head groundskeeper, checks the trough and I hear a soft buzzing as I notice the bees that seem to be relaxing atop some of the corks.
As he gently adds more corks to the trough, Juan Luis invites me over and explains that in addition to collecting rainwater for the garden, the trough also serves as a valuable source of water for the resort’s bees. Noticing one day that the bees couldn’t access the water easily he added the corks – also a small tribute to the resort’s onsite vineyard – as resting spots for the bees to quench their thirst.
While the bees play a vital role in pollinating and sustaining The Chef’s Garden and numerous plants and flowers throughout the resort, I knew that the beehives – home to more than 60,000 bees – also provide valuable honey to both The Lakehouse Restaurant and the spa. Earlier in the week, my therapist at the spa had shared that the honey used in my Honey Body Dream treatment was harvested from the resort’s beehives.
Juan Luis offers me samples of the bees’ honey, sharing with me how its floral notes – a mix of lavender, roses, rosemary and wildflowers – are created as the bees collect nectar from flowers throughout The Chef’s Garden and canyon.
I watch the bees, which seem to float dreamily on the corks one moment and then suddenly buzz to life and take flight as though ready to take on their duties for the day. I take their lead, moving along in my own adventure to explore the rest of The Chef’s Garden.