Local beekeepers run a pretty sweet business with unique honey flavors
By Kathryn Kelly
For Rebekah and Rodney Medley, their beekeeping hobby has turned into a sticky situation in the best way possible. Years of beekeeping at home eventually led to a thriving honey business, which started off pretty spicy before it turned sweet.
Several years ago, the two attended PepperFest, a hot (pun-intended) festival here in North Carolina. According to Rodney, they infused their honey with Carolina Reaper peppers as a joke and sold it at the festival. To their surprise, they sold out and were met with amazing reception and feedback.
This inspired their honey business: Beehive Yourself. They sell their goods every Sunday at the Dirtbag Ales Farmer’s Market and feature several varieties of their honey at The Downtown Market in downtown Fayetteville, where I was fortunate to meet them and experience a honey-tasting. Experiencing honey flavors from black garlic to vanilla bean to truffle, my taste buds went on a journey dissecting the sticky sweet concoctions that were each so unique and complex.
After learning the story of the couple’s creation for PepperFest, now called Smoke Pepper Bomb, I could see why it caused such a stir. This infusion was at first deceptive, tasting more sweet than spicy. However, after a few seconds my throat and esophagus were on fire in the best way possible. A few harmless tears and gentle coughs later, I had finally gotten through it. Fair warning to the adventurous: if spicy isn’t for you, then this flavor isn’t for you.
Rodney exclaimed how versatile this flavor is for so many recipes, one that he shared with me for a perfect burger that takes a little time and love to get right, but, as he assured me, it’s worth it.
Smoke Pepper Bomb Burger
- 4 ounces center-cut beef
- 4 ounces lamb
- Garlic pepper, to taste
- Thyme, to taste
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 slice Gouda
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Beehive Yourself Smoke Pepper Bomb Honey, to taste
- Preferred hamburger buns
- Grind beef and lamb together until well combined and form into a patty
- Season with garlic pepper and thyme
- Grill or sear until done to your liking then salt to taste
- Deglaze and baste with ghee
- Prep hamburger buns to liking (in our opinion, toasted with butter is better)
- Add Dijon mustard and arugula to bottom bun, top with patty
- Add cheese atop patty and generously coat top bun with Smoke Pepper Bomb.
For a bonus, Rodney also provided a recipe for a fun summer drink that incorporates one of their infused honeys.
Orange Creamsicle Infused Water
- 1 gallon distilled water
- 2 navel oranges, sliced thin
- 2 tablespoons Beehive Yourself Vanilla Bean infused honey
- Add oranges and honey to distilled water at room temperature
- Shake up and leave overnight in fridge
- Serve over ice for a sweet summer refreshment