The bee farm experience starts with finding your way to one of the important representations of provincial life in Bohol. It’s like a sanctuary hidden in all those greeneries, hence, it’s better to ask a local to drive for you. It was good that our arrival coincided with the first batch of the farm tour. The P20 fee/person for the 20 to 30 minutes glimpse of farm life is very reasonable. They let us use the woven (buri) hats for free in the entire duration of the tour for a more “in the farm feel”.
[“Babae or lalaki ba si Jollibee?” (Is Jollibee (the mascot) female or male?), asked by the guide. Not only the kids, but all of us were glued to our guide’s bits of information. Understandably, there was the is-that-true-i-will-google-that-later trivial stuff moment. The interesting parts were when he was telling us how to differentiate a female (has distinct stripes (so is Jollibee!) and stingers) from a male bee (with larger eyes), the reproduction cycle, and more. We even had the chance to hold that tray of bees without stinging us.]
The December breeze provided a no sweat tour that morning. We really enjoyed peeking in to the organic farming life, basket weaving, decorating and crafting, and of course the bee culture! Our guide, with his Boholano accent, was conversant, entertaining and really knows his job. The tour was very informative as he held a sort of quiz amongst my family and relatives. And the winner shall get a bite from a bee, i.e. believed to cure rheumatism. Maybe the assumption was that an adult participant is going to win, but the kids are smarter! Well, they are fresh from school (excuses hahaha). So, they got an ice cream treat.
After the tour and peeking in to the barn (function room) and three restaurants (one nestled in the cave overlooking the pool, honeycomb which is more for functions, and the bamboo style), we opted to take lunch in the latter which is overlooking the sea. Not too long, the place was full of diners. It reminded me of the pretty tourist who seemed like fresh from the marine tour on a skimpy two-piece swimwear, taking her flower salad while reading Eat, Pray, Love. Probably, her own version of the Eat part is in the Philippines instead of being in Italy as transpired in the book.
As mentioned in one of my posts, amongst my most unforgettable eats in 2010 were the flower salad (anything that the bee sips is said to be not poisonous, I ate all those flowers, even if I didn’t know exactly what is the species and had zero insurance for being a flower glutton, hahaha; so far, I am still alive and blogging!), kinilaw na talong, spicy ginger and malunggay ice cream. For the bee farm dishes alone, it is worth the trip. (Menu here.)
The stairs leading to the cliff were just steps away from the bamboo restaurant. We went down to the sunbathing and lounging area. If you’re in at the right hour, it would be tempting to ask for massage from one of the hilots. Being there would be perfect in time for the sunrise and sunset. But since that was right after stuffing ourselves with healthy and delicious lunch, the sea breeze was too inviting for a nap.
Another much awaited part was the sorting of their products which all seemed to be shouting, “you should get me”. I’ve been piqued most by the camote and herb bread, different variants of cookies, chips and spreads. In the same shop, they also have native products like sungka (remember this classic game?) paraphernalia, ukelele, and lots of buri products.
Since we visited pre-Christmas, the air was more festive and the bee farm had bountiful decors. Of course, Santa Claus and the Belen (Nativity) were positioned rightfully.
Had the bee farm had its own shoreline, we probably had booked it for our accommodation. I noticed that most of the hotel-resort guests were expats, which is not surprising because the nipa-structured rooms (interestingly named as banana room, beehive and honeycomb suites, and colony) are appealing. But all in all, it is a must visit in case you decide to set foot in Bohol. Great food and customer service. And of course, you can have that date with the bees and hold them minus the harm.