Bee Leaf USA is an incredible organization at the forefront of San Diego’s honeybee preservation. They offer many services which include rehoming bees, educating the public, honey tastings and have even collaborated on a few honey-flavored beers!
Visiting their sanctuary is an adventure in itself. They are located in Pauma Valley at the base of Palomar Mountain, making this is a great back-country adventure. I highly recommend taking the drive up to Palomar Mountain afterward by the way. Use our guide of all the hidden gems in Palomar Mountain if you go!
Bee Leaf USA started off as an urban rooftop beekeeping program and progressed to rescuing their bees. What really accelerated their business was was partnering with one of the Marriott hotels when they were called in to remove a hive.
Beef Leaf relocated the hive to the Marriott’s rooftop allowing the honey to be harvested for the hotel’s kitchen.
They still continue their relationship with the Marriotttt to this day but learned many important lessons from that rescue.
Bee Leaf USA is currently offering tours of their sanctuary through AirBnb Experiences. During one of their experiences you will get to tour their apiary, learn all about the process of beekeeping and even wear a bee suit while getting up-close and personal with the bees!
Their sanctuary has over 75 rescued hives that were in danger of extermination. Instead, they get to live a beautiful life in the countryside!
After the lesson we were suited up and taken out to their apiary to learn even more! We were invited to be hands-on (only if you felt comfortable) and reassured that honeybees are gentle creatures unless provoked.
This was my first time doing anything like this and although I was a little nervous, I was promised nobody had ever gotten stung during the hundreds of tours they’ve given. It was definitely not the type of opportunity I wanted to pass up!
After the up-close encounter we went back to the tent to do honey tasting! We tried honey from Bee Leaf USA’s hives, honey from the Marriott hive they take care of and a few other batches from various regions.
It made me realize that honey tasting really needs to be a thing, just like wine-tastings are. When you get to sample so many different honeys back-to-back you really notice the subtleties with each variety. It was a lot of fun!
I’m really excited to watch this company grow and hope many of you will try out their tour to learn more about bees!