Bill and Ann Snyders, along with 1 part-time helper.
Bill and Ann take great pride in maintaining an open space for their bees, which enjoy the nectar and pollen of a wide variety of flowers in the Bay Area’s unique and diverse Mediterranean climate. The hives are located in the pristine Crystal Springs Reservoir south of San Francisco, home to a diversity of native wildflowers. This area contains no commercial farming, thus existing in its natural state. Bill and Ann keep and collect honey from approximately 150 hives.
Bill is a second-generation beekeeper in the Snyders family. His father started beekeeping in La Honda and when Bill was a teenager, he began helping his father with the operation. Bill also spent time in British Columbia, Canada, where he learned to harvest fresh bee pollen, which is considered by some to be nature’s perfect food, with its rich supply of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, enzymes, and amino acids. Bill continues the operation to this day, now with the assistance of his wife, Ann.
The Snyders family philosophy is to produce high quality local honey without altering its natural state. All of their products are minimally processed. This philosophy has led to the development of their specialty product, “Cappings Honey,” for which the family is renowned in San Francisco and the Peninsula. “Cappings” is a local wildflower honey that is unheated, unfiltered, and in its raw form. The Snyderses believe that this process retains the vital enzymes and nutritional qualities from the bees and pollen. Honey is extracted from the hives between May and August and then bottled and packaged for their customers.
None. Some hives are not treated for varroa mite and are registered organic with the state of California. As of this writing, no national standards for honey have been established.
Bill and Ann do not chemically treat their beehives for the Varroa mite, perhaps the most significant apiary pest. Instead, they have employed various methods to prevent the mite from harming their bees, such as screened hive bottoms, natural essential oils, and, most importantly, breeding their bees to be mite-tolerant.
Beekeeping is not the Snyders’ only profession: Bill is a pilot and Ann is a former flight attendent.
La Honda, California
The original Saint Benoît (or Saint Benedict) founded several monastic communities across Europe. Over centuries, these communities have crafted some of the best artisan food products in the world.
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of farmers markets and educational programs. Learn More »