Lee’s Bees return to Cafe Zoë this Saturday with more honey products

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on August 15, 2018

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Heather and Jason, the two Willows neighborhood kids behind Lee’s Bees, make their second annual appearance at Cafe Zoë on August 18 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. They’re offering an expanded product list, all created — or inspired — from the honey made by bees in their grandmother’s backyard.

Sandy Lee started the hives when a huge oak tree where bees lived was cut down to build Laurel Upper School. “We wanted the bees to continue to help pollinate the flowers,” she said.

Heather and Jason will be selling honey from the hives as well as an amazing variety of products they’ve made from the honey, including soaps, balms and lotions. Also available is the second in a series of books with bee themes that Heather has written and illustrated.

New this year are decorated rocks that the two kids and Sandy have hand-painted. There will also be an expanded display of panels talking about honey bees and bee keeping.

Tending to the hives is no easy matter, “especially in the summer when it’s hot wearing the bee suits,” says Heather. “But we got a new device called an extractor. You stick it in and spin it, and the honey comes off easy.

“And the combs stay with the bees,” adds Jason.

Under Sandy’s tutelage, Heather, now 11 and attending Hillview this year, and Jason, 13, who is off to Menlo-Atherton High School, take part in all aspects of the production, from collecting the honey to making the products and properly labeling each and every one.

“The hardest part is coming up with designs for the soap,” Heather says. “For the rocks, our grandmother painted the flowers and we did the Zentangles.”

Earlier this summer, the kids got some validation for their hard work. Both the honey and soaps earned second place in their category at the San Mateo County Fair.

Photos by Irene Searles (c) 2018

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