Free Honey

The best thing about being a private tour guide on Maui while I begin my honey adventures is that I can combine the two! Maui’s Private Guide recently had a “training day,” and by that I mean our boss took me and the two other guides around the island to scout new spots to bring our tours. This involved bamboo forest hikes, hidden waterfalls, freshwater jungle swimming, and even the highest cliff jump I’ve ever done! I swore like a sailor as I flew through the air, but I did it! And I survived feeling stronger and braver than I was before!

I am truly blessed to have this job. It has afforded me the ability to pursue my passions and begin my dream to travel the world as the Honey Huntress. Maui is such a perfect launching pad for this project. Right now as a private tour guide I get to share this island with wonderful people from around the world. I play the role of an entertainer and an educator, adventuring and teaching… while always learning from each experience and each person who shares in return.

Our training day was a beautiful day of sharing. We all took turns on the drive, and each contributed our own insights about the island. Near the end of the day we were up at almost 3000ft elevation in Ulupalakua on the south side of Hale Akala, the second largest volcano on the Hawaiian island chain. Though we were driving through thunder, lightning and heavy rain along the east coast, this southern point cleared for us. I looked out over the ocean with the sun setting and all of it’s paradise-colored rays kaleidoscoping through the clouds. This is my happy place!

As we came to one of the most remote parts of Maui there was a ‘Honey and Gift’ roadside stand up on a vista platform. I had seen this lookout point in passing during my tours, but it hadn’t been open during the times I would pass. However, it was open that day, and so our training day concluded with a sweet treat. Three local Maui honeys with free tastings available!

The honey varietals were macadamia nut honey, lavender honey and wildflower honey from different areas around Maui. Each honey was from a unique region of the island where these nectar sources are more prevalent. The macadamia nut was from a mac nut farm in Wailuku, and had the familiar light amber color and gentle toffee flavor that I love! The lavender honey was lovely, and had me imagining a kiss from those purple petals of fresh blooming herbs. The wildflower was that mystery flavor, the one where your tongue lets each taste dance, never settling on just one. Wildflower was my favorite: an untamed Hawaiian bouquet!

Erica, who owns Liberty Vista Farm and Maui Honey Bee Sanctuary with her husband, was one of the young woman working at the stand. Erica and her co-worker/friend Kyan were very informative and engaging. Erica explained that these weren’t their honeys, but honeys contributed from other beekeepers around the island. The prices unfortunately reflected the distribution cost and isolation of their selling location, at $14 for 8 oz of Maui Wildflower Honey…I still had to get some.

Sometimes, the tricky thing with roadside stands is they are only open when they want to open, when they have enough products to sell, or enough people to sell to. Ya gotta catch ‘em when ya can! Grateful I was able to catch this one, however if you’re not driving through the back side of Hale Akala or on a tour going through there, its a little out of the way. Which I’m sure is why the prices have a bit of a “tourist tax,” since tourists are the main customers at that location. It seems their most active website is their Facebook page.

The beautiful view and free honey samples make it a honey hunt worth having. Gratitude to Maui Honey Bee Sanctuary for helping to spread love and appreciation of Maui honey! It was the sweetest way to end an island training day.

HoneyLaura Hetland