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Bee Experience


Pricing: $75 per adult, $50 per child ages 6-12*

Your adventure with our honey bees includes:

  • Lavender & Honey Lemonade refreshment at activity check-in.
  • A taste of the Carmel Valley Ranch honey...directly from the hive!
  • A travel-size lavender beeswax balm to take home.
  • A portion of all proceeds to be donated to The Honeybee Conservancy charity.

Each participant will have the opportunity to "suit up" in a beekeeping suit, and to get as up close and personal with the bees as they wish...a great memory-making and photo opportunity!

*Not recommended for children under the age of 6.

Flower Power

If you’re looking for things to do in Carmel, Carmel Valley Ranch's signature experience begins even before you enter our apiary. Busy as always, our 60,000 Italian honey bees diligently forage for the pollen and nectar in every flower at The Ranch, with a particular affinity for the hundreds of blossoms on each of The Ranch's 7,000 brilliant lavender plants.

"Bee" to Believe

At The Ranch, we don't think that you can simply see to believe, you must actually “bee” to believe. Only by donning a bee suit and walking into the hives—just like a real beekeeper—can we begin to understand the magic of these critical (and endangered) creatures. Inspired by the cooperation we see in these devoted honeybees, we not only observe but perform meaningful hive duties, including honey harvesting, feeding new colonies, inspecting our colonies' health, and adding or removing supers (the chambers in which bees store excess honey).

A Secret Life

The sightings among the lavender and the soothing hums of the apiary belie a secret life: once inside the hives, we can begin to observe the sophisticated structure of bee civilization. From the guards at the hive entrance, to the nurses tending the young, to the "productive females" and "lazy males," to the notoriously elusive queen, each bee has a place inside this complex community.

Building Bonds

Working the hives together, we naturally become more connected to the bees. And through these bees, we naturally connect with our world. We see parallels to our own lives and develop a better understanding not only of our bees, but also of ourselves.

Continuing the Journey

A taste of Carmel Valley Ranch's lavender honey is the next step, but the experience continues long after leaving the apiary. The essential oils from our lavender plants form the foundation of our Spa Aiyana experience and in-suite bath products, and traces of this fragrance can be found throughout our Valley Kitchen menu. Our guests return season after season to experience the life cycle: hives are saved and lost, honey is harvested, lavender is primed for distillation, and our guests—who may have come to The Ranch as unaware as we were—embrace the cause of the vanishing bees.

John Russo, Our Artisan Beekeeper and Lavender Expert

John owns and operates Carmel Lavender, an artisan lavender farm deep in Carmel Valley. At Carmel Valley Ranch, John and our team of resident beekeepers care for more than 60,000 Italian honey bees, and they organize and lead "Bee Experiences" for Ranch guests of all ages. Our Activities and Beekeeping teams work together to design year-round programs related to our bees and lavender to keep our guests up to speed on the "buzz" about bees!

For more information or reservations, please contact the Activities Team at (831) 626-2507.