The Master of Low-Impact Beekeeping
With a fascination for the natural world, Damian Magista, founder of Bee Local, strives to produce the best tasting and purest honey on the market. If you ask his customers, some may postulate that it is his respect for nature’s true course that makes all the difference in his products. If you ask him, Magista seems to want nothing more than to sustain a company that is trusted and transparent while producing the most palatable honey. He founded Bee Local in 2011 with the inspiration to produce honey that is not only tasty, but also honey that locals’ can actually call their own. “Bee Local is redefining the industry,” he says. “We are changing the rules.”
A man of his word, Magista stays true to his company’s name in that his honey really is local! He sets up hives and harvests honey from specific neighborhoods throughout the Portland region, giving each honey its own special and unique flavor.
With the promise to stay as organic as possible, Bee Local does not blend any of their harvested honey together. This is in order to preserve each neighborhood’s natural and authentic taste. “We place the hives in a location that we feel may produce some exciting honey. Essentially, we let the bees do their thing,” he explains.
Taking pride in his practice of low-impact beekeeping, Magista explains that this is part of why Bee Local’s bees are much healthier than most commercial companies. His belief is that bees have been around long enough to know what they’re doing, so he strives to stay as unobtrusive to the colony as possible.
“It’s very much a hive to jar process,” he says. “There is no need for added steps or overcomplicating it.”
Bee Local has high standards for their honey. Their bees are not fed High Fructose Corn Syrup. They never use in-hive chemical treatments such as antibiotics and arachnoides. They source from geographic regions that minimize bees’ exposure to pesticides and herbicides. The bees are not transported hundreds of miles to pollinate large-scale monocrop agricultural operations. And their honeys are never heated, treated, blended or ultra-filtered. So enjoy their flavorful, pollen rich and raw unadulterated honey, from hive to jar.
Photo by Ryan LeBrun