Did you know bees can smell fear? Or that Utah is home to over 900 different species of bees? Prepare to learn all the buzz about bees and honey in the latest episode of the Taste of Harmons Podcast. Chef Lesli and Brandon Young are joined by Tom Bench from Hollow Tree Honey in a fascinating exploration of bees, the importance they play in our world, and how they create their amazing and delicious honey.
Hollow Tree Honey's Story
Tom’s interest in bees, beekeeping, and honey started when he was living in an apartment with no place to have a hive, but luckily his wife’s grandmother agreed to let him keep a hive at her house and his passion took off from there. He started his company in 2013, and Hollow Tree Honey is dedicated to all-natural beekeeping practices, which not only creates healthy bees but local honey that Tom says is the best you will ever taste.
Hollow Tree Honey is raw and harvested in small quantities to preserve the variety of nectar flows of the season at each location. With hives in Sugar House, Holladay, the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon and up in the Wasatch Mountains, each location and hive produces honey with a taste unique to the area where its located.
Tom is passionate about the honey he sells, and so are his customers. Many of them believe it helps with allergies and other ailments and complaints, and the nutritional value of raw honey is undisputed. You can pick up a jar of Hollow Tree Honey at Harmons and visit Tom’s Website to get a free packet of wildflowers to plant, helping to provide healthy food to sustain the incredible honeybees.
Want to learn more about Tom?
Tom Bench grew up in the Sandy, Utah and studied Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Utah. He was most interested in the environmental benefits (and taste) of local food. In 2012 he began keeping bees and was obsessed with the complicated social structure of bees and how amazing fresh honey from his hive tasted. He founded the University of Utah Beekeepers in 2013, which created a resource for students and faculty to observe honeybees and learn how to care for them. That same year Tom started Hollow Tree Honey. He began by selling at local farmer’s markets and eventually moved into local grocery stores as the only unheated and unfiltered honey. Local bee conservation has always been at the heart of the company’s mission. With every jar purchased, Hollow Tree Honey gives a packet of pollinator plant seeds away for customers to plant and feed the bees. In 2018 he founded the Hollow Tree Honey Foundation to increase local bee populations through community workshops. So far, over a thousand people have attended native bee box workshops and they have helped several hundred people build and install native bee boxes that create habitats for local bees. He currently lives in Sandy with his wife and three young children.