beekeeping honey

With spring just a few weeks away, it’s a busy day at the Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies. In between ringing up jars of local honey, three generations of the Stewart family answer a stream of questions with both patience and passion. If you’re curious about how bees make honey, which size wick to use in your candle-making, the science of animal communications or the health benefits of bee pollen, there’s no better place to spend an afternoon. If you’re already a dedicated beekeeper, well, then, you’ve probably already met Nancy and Fred, the proprietor and the talker, respectively, who run this gem of a shop.

fred the beekeeper

They’re known and loved by apiarists throughout Northern California and have loyal customers extended throughout the west. Nancy opened the business in 1985 and ran the day-to-day operations, while Fred supplied bees to local orchards in his hours after work. Once he retired, though, he was able to spend more time at the shop, and now, on any given day, you’ll find him leaning on his cane offering mini lectures on any topic from why hives swarm to the best way to catch a queen bee.

beekeeping queen catchers

You can taste different varieties of honey at the tasting bar. Choose your own too-cute jar to fill with one of the honeys that they keep on tap, or head to the bee-themed gift section for souvenirs that the TSA won’t confiscate. Crafty folks will love the back room, where candle molds, sheets of wax and Ukrainian egg kits (just in time for Easter) provide distraction during these rainy days. For now, I enjoy their honeys — sage, coastal wildflower, the unique Davis blend — but already hooked by their excitement, I can’t help daydreaming about my very own beginner’s beekeeping kit.

beekeeping honey jars

Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies
2110 X Street
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 451-2337

beekeeper sign

Sacramento Beekeeping Supplies 2 March,2009Thy Tran

  • For those curious about establishing a beehive in their backyard, check out the beginner’s beekeeping class starting on March 14 at the Rotary Nature Center at Lake Merritt. For more info, visit .


Thy Tran

Thy Tran writes literary nonfiction about food, the rituals of the kitchen, and the many ways eating and cooking both connect and separate communities around the world. She co-authored the award-winning guide, Kitchen Companion, and her work has appeared in numerous other books, including Asia in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Cultural Travel Guide and Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking and Saveur. A recipient of a literary grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Thy is currently working on a collection of essays about how food changes in families across time and place.

Though trained as a professional chef, she works on cookbooks by day, then creates literary chapbooks by night. An old letterpress and two cabinets of wood and lead type occupy a corner of her writing studio, for she is as committed to the art and craft of bookmaking as she is to the power of words themselves. In addition to writing, editing, teaching and printing, Thy remains active in local food justice and global food sovereignty movements. Visit her website,, to learn more about her culinary adventures.

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