A Hive of Activity05/17/2021 03:37PM ● By Suzi Mitchell
In 2017, Bethany Baker and her husband, Perry, launched Outlaw Apiaries and started Bee the Future, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to educating youth. Photo courtesy Outlawa Apiaries.
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS – Many people have a television in their living room – few have a beehive. For Bethany and Perry Baker, it makes perfect sense. The Hayden-based couple met through the beekeeping network and are passionate about bees. So much so that they founded Outlaw Apiaries in 2017 and Bee the Future, a 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to educating youth.
Beekeeping is in their blood. Bethany’s grandfather tended bees, like Perry’s father, whose family homesteaded Granby. The couple started out with 40 hives and now have over 500, dotting ranches and farms along the Yampa River Basin. The bees forage all summer on an abundant buffet of locally grown alfalfa and clover, which results in a rich, golden honey.
The honey is harvested in the fall, at the same time three Honeycrisp apple trees on the couple’s property produce. The timing had serendipitous results. An overabundance of apples two years ago led to an experiment, and the couple made their first jar of honey infused with apple and crushed cinnamon. “I’m not a creative person, but when this worked out, I thought, ‘Holy smokes, look what I created,’ and it led to a whole new arm of the business,” Bethany says.
Outlaw Apiaries added Triple Crown blackberry creamed honey using Colorado-sourced plump berries and Alpine strawberry creamed honey. Their best seller is a chocolate-infused, salted ghost pepper honey. “It’s great added to a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, the kick of the pepper tingles your throat,” Bethany says with laughter.
The chief taster in the house is 4-year-old Nico. He, along with two-year-old Teal and six-month-old River, enjoys the constant entertainment of the indoor hive. Bethany and Perry drilled a hole into the side of the house to allow the bees access to the outdoors. The observation hive enables the swarms of visitors to watch the colony in action. “Our main focus is to show people why bees are so important and why we need them,” Bethany says.
As part of Bee the Future, the couple holds weekly classes at the Steamboat Montessori School, and Bethany offers beekeeping classes to educate people on the plight of the declining bee population. “We are trying to show people how they can integrate bees into their life and what they can do to save them,” she says. “I believe we’ve already made an impact.”
If you’ve wondered how to please the sweet and savory taste buds at the same time, here is one solution. Bethany Baker shared go-to recipes using her chocolate-infused salted ghost pepper honey.
Chocolate Infused Salted Ghost Pepper Margarita
This recipe may also be used with regular Outlaw Apiaries Clover and Alfalfa Honey.
Ingredients for Two Margaritas
½ cup tequila silver
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime
4 tablespoons Outlaw Apiaries Chocolate Infused Salted Ghost Pepper Honey
Prepare two small glasses by dipping the rim in a plate of honey and then kosher salt. With enough honey and salt, it will run down the side of the rim to create a beautiful and tasty presentation. Fill the glass with ice and set aside. Gently warm the honey and tequila in a saucepan until blended. This will prevent the raw properties of the honey hardening on the ice. In a cocktail shaker combine tequila, honey, lime juice and ice. Shake the margarita until it cools completely. Pour over ice, into the prepared glasses. This formerly secret family recipe is a favorite of locals year-round.