Oui Honey and Lavender grew from my love for the environment and commitment to help our earth by acting locally. In 2010 I heard about “colony collapse.” I was familiar with beekeeping and the important role of bees in food production and to sustain the world’s natural life cycle. As a pre-teen, I had found a wild hive that had moved into an unused dog house my dad had built. Our family soon became the neighborhood “bee” people, eventually having a dozen hives. With that background, I decided to start keeping bees to benefit our local ecologic balance.
I had also traveled to the Luberon in Provence, France, which is noted for conservation practices to protect its tremendous ecological diversity. Provence is also noted for its lavender. Lavender is a low-water plant that is also deer resistant – perfect for my 2+ acres in Saratoga, California. In 2004 I planted a lavender garden with a Provence variety that has the longest lasting fragrance.
By 2010 I had more honey than I could eat and more lavender than I could sleep on. Oui Honey and Lavender began as gifts for my friends – a way to share my bounty – with a beautiful label designed by my friend Stacie Guidice. When I gave such a gift to Claudia Mann of The Maids Quarters of Los Gatos, she asked if I could make up 25 for her to sell in her store. Oui Honey and Lavender has now expanded into a wider line of natural products.
My dream is to share this completely natural, raw honey and lavender with people and to promote conservation, environmental sensitivity, and living gently on the earth. Everything at Oui Honey and Lavender is handcrafted. The packaging is biodegradable, recycled, and/or recyclable. – Laura Enander Harris
About the bees
Bees will range for 2-3 miles from a hive in search of pollen and nectar. My bees feast on the lavender in my garden, but also range into Saratoga and the lower foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Bees store nectar and, when it has reached the right viscosity (moisture level), they “cap” each cell with a bit of wax. Honey is collected twice each year. We do not collect honey until the bees have “capped” it. You may find our honey is thicker than some commercial honeys that have a higher moisture content, possibly because that honey was harvested before capping or because water has been added.
The health of our hives is our primary consideration. We prefer not to artificially feed the bees with sugar-water during the Winter. Therefore, we collect only the truly excess, “capped” honey in the Fall so the bees have lots of food to carry them through the Winter. This minimizes the stress on the hive following collection. We collect honey in the Spring, when it can readily be replaced from Spring and Summer blooms.
Read more about bees and Oui Honey and Lavender.