Fun fact: Honey is the only food product that never expires!

by Maria Salas

Chef Roberto “Bobby” Gonzalez of Tabernilla gets excited explaining how honey is the latest item making a local impact. Producers such as La Gorra Azul Ranch, who provide delicious local honey, and Texas Outer Rim Apiaries, who rescue hives and are on the way to producing honey, are the base of this. “Local restaurants including Trattoria Mia, Lolita’s Bistro and ourselves help spread the word,” says Chef Bobby.

Honey is best when it’s local and the best way to enjoy it is when you can eat it simply. A suggestion at Tabernilla is to have honey with churros or to accompany cheeses in their Tablas (a plate with cured meats and cheeses). At Tabernilla, Chef Bobby has been working with Ceci Cisneros and Christopher Segovia from Texas Outer Rim Apiaries for a couple of years and together they do something unique with honey on a very small scale which is kind of a “secret” on the menu.

But where does this “secret” honey come from? Thank you for asking, reader. Let me tell you.

Cecilia “Ceci” Cisneros, a local realtor, and Christopher Segovia are a mother-son duo that have the coolest hobby. They remove bees from a property and then they relocate them, tend to them, and will soon begin to harvest their honey.

What makes this process interesting is that when every beehive is first rescued it has honey with a unique taste, texture, color, and flavor profile depending on the plant variety around it. This is in a sense “hyperlocal” and gives and amazing sense of taste from a certain area of the city says Chef Bobby. “That honey is available for honey aficionados but those hives produce only small amounts.” Once the hives are rescued they are then relocated and taken to Bobby’s family’s ranch (Tanquecitos) to begin a new life and produce honey from that environment.

This mother-son duo began their beekeeping when Chris was supposed to leave to California to start his zoology degree, but ended up making a deal with his mother, Ceci, where she would get him his first hive and he’d stay in Laredo. Chris has always been fascinated by nature and together with his mother, they live out the mission to protect bees. Their mission is to educate people and let them know that the bees need to be protected because without them 95% of crops would cease to exist.

Today, people from around the city call them over to remove hives from their properties. Over the last year, they’ve rescued probably over 35 hives. As a family, they hope that this business can soon turn into something bigger. However, the most important thing to them is that people know the importance of having bees and the benefits of their being around.

Bees are a component of a healthy ecosystem. They perform a necessary task. Ceci and Chris value that importance.

So, next time you’re out preparing yourself a cup of tea or wanting something sweet in your breakfast, think about Outer Rim Apiaries. You can follow them on Facebook at Tx. Outer Rim Apiaries LLC or on Instagram @outerrim_apiaries_.

You won’t bee disappointed!

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