What to do with all that honey? Brew it
Pierre Daval doesn't mind getting stung.
In fact, he averages 20 to 25 bee stings per year.
Daval is the executive chef at Lincolnshire Marriott Resort and also the head apiarist, or beekeeper.
"I don't like to wear gloves," said Daval, who said they get in his way when he's tending to the hives.
For about four years, Daval has managed 12 beehives on the property in Lincolnshire and produces about 400 to 600 pounds of honey every year.
"We were looking for an opportunity to use all that honey," Daval said.
So a few months ago, he contacted Tighthead Brewery in Mundelein.
"Pierre reached out to us and told us they had honey they produced on site and wanted to create a honey beer," brewery owner Bruce Dir said.
The two teamed up to make a honey ale called Five Eyes. The beer, brewed with Liberty hops, requires about 50 pounds of honey per 15-barrel batch.
Dir explained that honey ferments out like any other sugar to create alcohol, but the beer has just a hint of honey.
"Its really nice and clean, really refreshing. You get a lot of honey notes from it. It's pretty easy drinking ale," Dir said.
Five Eyes is only available at Tighthead Brewery and Lincolnshire Marriott, where it's served at more than 100 weddings throughout the year and in all the restaurants and bars.
The remainder of the honey produced is used for to create foods like barbecue sauce, chocolate truffles, pecan cake, granola, honey vinaigrette and many other items.
"Our kitchen is 95% from scratch," Daval said. "We make everything in house."