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

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Arugula
  • Beehive Yourself Smoke Pepper Bomb Honey, to taste
  • Preferred hamburger buns

Directions

  • 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

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon distilled water
  • 2 navel oranges, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons Beehive Yourself Vanilla Bean infused honey

Directions

  • 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