Cows often come to mind as the animal that produces Wisconsin’s most famous product, but the Dairy State’s honey bees are just as prolific. Wisconsin bees produce more than 3 million pounds of honey annually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Some of that production is happening at the Mequon Nature Preserve in Ozaukee County. The preserve’s Bee Club maintains more than 50 hives on the property. All told, the club’s 60 members (including one commercial producer) have gathered 340,000 pounds of honey this year alone. So what do you do with all that honey? Bake cookies!
The Bee Club contributed the Honey Cookie recipe for this year’s Cookie Book, the Wisconsin Products edition. Executive Director of the Mequon Nature Preserve Kristin Gies describes the Honey Cookie as a sweet treat that’s great to make with kids. “Honey has not often been considered a crop of Wisconsin, but it could be,” said Gies. “We are now growing in that industry.”
“Bees are the only insect that produces some kind of edible food for humans,” said Donna Baldwin-Haut, another Bee Club member. “They are very productive and important to our environment. They pollinate so many of our food sources, and it’s important we keep them going. We’re proud to contribute to that as beekeepers.”
|Bee Club members wear protective suits when tending to their hives.|
Bee Club member Greg Humer also points out the health benefits of honey. “A teaspoon or tablespoon of honey is better than a vitamin pill!”
With its healthy properties and natural sweetness, honey is the perfect Wisconsin product to make a tasty holiday cookie with a touch of home-state goodness. Find the club’s Honey Cookie recipe along with 30 others in this year’s Cookie Book.