Mark and Leah Damon have always been passionate about eating well. When they started Maui Bees, it was by accident. Originally a place to grow vegetables, it didn’t take long before neighbors asked to buy their produce. Since 2008, the husband-wife team has been developing their product list for anyone who wants to eat a little cleaner. While known for their honey, there are plenty of other home-grown goodies to be found at this beautiful farm.
When Mark and Leah first met, they were immediately brought together by a shared interest in bees. Mark had been keeping bees for decades and he had long appreciated what these (sometimes) unsung heroes do for our environment. Honeybees don’t just produce a delectable concoction, they’re integral for keeping our delicate ecosystem going. The farm is known for its gardens, pastured eggs, and honey, and it’s all available at their Kula farm stand.
The farm is built on a foundation of regenerative farming techniques. The sprays they use to protect crops are biodynamic, and all compost is organic. This is done not just for tastier veggies but to infuse the soil with helpful microbes. The Damons use cover crops as well as ‘no till’ mulch to retain and build carbon into the soil. The honey is as pure as you can get, as the staff takes a very hands-off approach. Honey is produced via a cold process, which means the honey stays below room temperature at all times. This technique may take more time and money to do, but it’s also the best way to ensure quality products.
For those who love bees, there’s also a bee museum on the farm. This is the place to see bees in action and learn more about how their contributions play out across Maui and around the world. Watch safely behind glass walls and see how hives operate. This hands-on tour helps visitors learn more about how regenerative agriculture benefits us all. Schools and families alike rely on Maui Bees to teach the basics of organic production, and why agriculture plays an important role in our health and the health of our planet.
There are two major types of honey available from Maui: Winter and Summer Honey. Honey is harvested twice a year, and there’s high demand for both varieties in the community. Summer honey has a mild flavor with floral notes. The finish is subtle but slightly spicy, and an excellent choice for people who just want to liven up their foods with a touch of sweetness. Summer honey is made between September and October and harvested in November. When the bees collect nectar, they do so from the Wilelaiki tree that stands on the edges of the forest as well as the leeward side of Haleakana.
Winter honey is mainly identifiable by its color and flavor. Not only is it darker than summer honey, but it’s also more complex. The floral notes are more pronounced and there are added tones of butterscotch and caramel. This honey, which closely resembles the honey made from wildflowers, is harvested from the months of December to April and then harvested in April. It’s made from the Eucalyptus forests on the northwest side of Haleakala and may include pollen from other sources like blackberry bushes.
Finally, the Maui Bees staff added a commercial kitchen to their operations, as well as a resident culinary chef to whip up organic entrees from the farm’s gardens. This kitchen also makes it possible to offer everything from soup to brownies, and it’s been a major draw for people who want to buy more than honey.
-Maui Bees has a commercial kitchen and may offer dinners on certain days of the week. Call ahead to ask or inquire when you’re there.
–They only book our farm-to-table dinners and bee tours thru their website.