Honey [and adventure lovers], this post is for you.
We ventured last weekend to Tannourine with the honey experts at Atelier du Miel to get a firsthand experience learning about the art of beekeeping and local honey produced in Lebanon.
About Atelier du Miel
I’ll just brief you guys on Atelier du Miel in Lebanon before I get started on the awesome beekeeping workshop tour!
Atelier du Miel follows “transhumance”, a vital practice in beekeeping production. It’s the seasonal movement of beehives following the flower blossoming; instead of feeding their bees sugar, the team behind Atelier du Miel feeds them nature. This frequent movement additionally allows for diversity in honey varieties.
The entrepreneurs behind Atelier du Miel manage over 1,000 beehives around Lebanon producing roughly 15 tons of honey every year.
A Unique Honey Experience at Atelier du Miel
Visit one of many Atelier du Miel boutiques around Lebanon showcasing jars upon jars of delicious, sticky, sweet good-for-you traditional Lebanese honey. They have over 30 varieties of honey!
Many people (including yours truly) believe that honey should be liquid. However, at Atelier du Miel, you may find honey that basically looks, feels, and tastes like sugar. However, they make it their mission to educate and explain to their customers the difference between the different honey types based on the flowers they eat.
So let’s start the Atelier du Miel beekeeping tour, shall we?
Our first stop was at our meeting point: Atelier du Miel Workshop and Café in Mar Mikhael. We got to indulge in a tasty breakfast based on honey followed by a small lecture given by Marc, one of the founders of Atelier du Miel.
He taught us the difference between the types of bees and how the queen bee is fed royal jelly all her life making her live up to 5 years (versus the worker bee’s life span of 45 days). Did you just order royal jelly online? Thinking about it? Yep, me too.
Once Marc finished his presentation, we were off to the mini bus to Tannourine.
We (finally) got to Tannourine after 1.5 hours in the bus. Where are the snacks?! Road trips = snacks.
We arrived at the home of a very welcoming family who takes care of the bees, and were offered freshly picked apples and pears with refreshments.
After our snack, it was time to suit up and check out the bees live in action in their hives.
Did I mention that I’m terrified of bees? I lasted 2 minutes. Yep, just 2. It was probably not the BEST idea for me to be in the middle of them. T stayed with the others and learnt some cool stuff and got to see the queen bee. While I got to see a full demonstration of a bee sting one of the bee experts nearby – which I have to admit was cool to watch haha.
Gina conveniently captured the run away process for a demonstration of what NOT to do during a Beehive Workshop :’)
It was now time for a traditional Lebanese lunch in the village at a lovely Tannourine family’s home. Best. Lunch. Ever. #adoptmeplz?
I tried the famous “Kebbe Zghartawiye” for the first time, and while I know we aren’t in Zgharta, this was the best kebbe I’ve ever had. I preferred the one stuffed with meat and a mix of nuts – #suchflavour
For dessert, we enjoyed fruits, local desserts, and honey, of course.
We were stuffed. I don’t think anyone was able to move.
We relaxed for a while enjoying the beautiful hilltop views before moving on to our next stop.
Our final stop included the tour with Atelier du Miel was a church in Laklouk right before the famous lakes that you guys are seeing all over social media. (If anyone wants the location, let me know).
Obviously, it’s better to visit this spot in the morning when the sun is up. We got here at around 5pm and there was a lot of fog.
We walked around the area before it was time to go back to Beirut.
Of course, a road trip isn’t complete without ice cream. On the way back, we stopped by my favourite merry cream spot, Gelato Show, for a vanilla soft serve (which by the way is sugar free and takes 100 years to melt). It wasn’t part of the tour (additional 3,500 LBP), and we were still full from lunch, but there’s always room for ice cream.
It was a great and unique experience indeed to join the beekeepers and honey experts for an enlightening and fun exploration about bees in the beautiful Tannourine region. It’s not just about bees either, we got to see some beautiful sites in Tannourine and Laklouk which was well-worth the journey! Also, lunch was just – wow. The change of scenery (and air) alone was a relief.
Atelier du Miel organizes beekeeping workshops on a frequent basis in different regions of Lebanon.
Price per person: USD 85 (+ USD 15 for bus transport)
Total time: 8:30am-8:00pm (around 3-4 hours spent on the road from and to Beirut)
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