Carmel Valley Ranch
Learn the art of bee-keeping at Carmel Valley Ranch. (Beekeeper John Russo is pictured.)
BEYOND THE TEA: The closest many of us get to a bee during a vacation is likely the packet of honey we put in our morning Darjeeling. Oh, we might shoo one away, if the hotel we're at happens to have a garden full of lavender, but that's the extent of it. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is Carmel Valley Ranch, where one can don a full-on beekeeper's uniform, complete with netted headgear, and learn the old art of tending the insect we most associate with the word "buzz." The Carmel-close resort has bee-y to-dos throughout the year but they've got a Mother's Day-focused package on now called "Queen Bee" (that is fitting for most of the moms we know, including our own).
MEET THE QUEEN BEE: A one-bedroom suite (meaning kids can come along), children's activities, a 90-minute couple's massage, and a session with on-site beekeeper John Russo are all a part of the deal. We'll add that the beekeeping lesson is open to kids and adults alike, and it will go down at the Ranch's own aviary. Which seems, to us, like a rather wonderful thing for a resort to have. (Surely other hotel-type properties can boast their own, but few spring to mind.) The Queen Bee is available over Mother's Day Weekend -- that's the nights of May 11 and May 12, just to get specific -- and starts at $675 per night. Buzz buzz.
ONE LAST THING: Carmel Valley Ranch is, in a word, capacious. It's some 500 acres set in a the hilly-soft-sweet area not far from the city that semi-shares its name. Meaning you'll want to save time for family strolls. Who knows? Will you meet a bee you met in the apiary out along the way? Probably not, although you may spy one of his distant cousins out in nature.