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72 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 8.16 THE SPREAD in and I turned around and there were all these bees just stopped behind me. I moved and — vroom. at was their route. I was in their way." To make honey, bees collect nectar, ex- pose it to their digestive enzymes and then store it in a comb, where they then fan it with their wings to dry out excess moisture. Cann keeps some honey for herself but gives a lot of it back to the bees — it's what they live off through the winter when there are no flowering plants. Others I talk to will supplement the bees' diets with simple syrup or corn syrup. After the Bristol's first honey harvest, which yielded about 40 pounds, chef Austin Wilson incorporated honey into two specials a day for 50 days — country fried chicken caprese with honey balsamic reduc- tion; white chocolate honey pot de crème; a cheese platter with honey fruit preserves; honey chipotle pork chops. Peters sold small jars of honey throughout the holidays. "Our beekeeper retired," Peters says. "We have a new beekeeper — I'm him. I'm praying that I don't kill them all." e bees spend all summer gathering nectar from flower to flower, clover to clover, so Peters says he will attempt to collect the honey lat- er this fall. He's read things like Beekeeping For Dummies to try to prepare. "I have nev- er gathered honey. I have all the equipment to do it. I'll just see what the heck happens. I'll call you up and say, 'Come on over if you want to see a mess.'" e only things in Chad Cooley's pantry are dog food and jars of honey. e Momma's Mustard, Pickles & BBQ owner says he's loved bees since he was a kid and started keeping them a couple years ago at his forested home in Prospect. "ey've kind of become like pets," he says. And he loves the honey. "I put it on everything. It's stupid," he says. "Literally everything. You name something — it's better with honey. Biscuits take honey. Honey's good over eggs. It's good on cereal, good in your coffee for a sweetener, for lunch." ere's a dish on the Momma's menu that uses Cooley's hon- ey — ice cream, fried pickles and honey. It's called the Pregnato. When I visit Cooley in early August, he's just bought a honey mead kit. He plans to make a trial batch with store-bought honey rather than test out his skills on his own reserves. "One gallon of honey gets you five gallons of honey wine," he says as he taps on a large plastic honey mead dispenser. "Sounds cool, doesn't it?" Honey's culinary wonders don't even touch the supposed health wonders of all bee products. Just check Rainbow Blos- som, where you can find a jar from Hosey The Pregnato: fried pickles with vanilla ice cream and honey from Momma's Mustard Pickles & BBQ. Chris Rodahaffer tending to his hive in St. Matthews.