C. Marina Marchese is changing the way people think about honey, this designer turned beekeeper is best known as the visionary behind the beloved brand Red Bee Honey. It was a sunny April day that Marina was invited to visit a neighbor’s apiary where her first taste of fresh honey from the beehive would change the course of her life. She quit her job, built a beehive and got her first colony of Italian honeybees to become a full – time beekeeper. It was on a trip to Tuscany to study wine tasting that Marina stumbled upon a honey festival in Montalcino (coincidentally called La Citta del Miele) that inspired her to launch the Red Bee Brand. Marchese returned to Italy three more times to complete her formal training and become the first US citizen to be accepted as a member of the Italian National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey. In 2013, with the guidance of the Italian Register she founded the American Honey Tasting Society to bring their honey educational program to the US.
Passionate about environmental issues around honeybees and food policy, Marina's best-selling book Honeybee Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper chronicles her entrepreneurial journey into beekeeping, opening her eyes to the wonders of the natural world of honeybees, pollination and their direct connection to growing food. Red Bee elevated honey to an artisan brand through education and transparency. Today, Red Bee Honey is a nationally recognized brand partnering with Murray’s Cheese Shop, Williams Sonoma, Blue Apron and Uncommon Goods. Her second book, The Honey Connoisseur Selecting, Tasting, and Pairing Honey co-authored with Kim Flottum (editor of Bee Culture Magazine) is the definitive guide to honey. Her third book, Honey for Dummies was coauthored with her mentor Howland Blackiston, author of the best selling book Beekeeping for Dummies. Marchese has appeared on numerous TV shows - Dr. Oz, The Chew, ViceTV - The Untitled Action Bronson Show, On the Road with Edible Nutmeg. Marina recently appeared with Emmy award winner Richard Wiese in Weekends with Yankee on PBS. James Beard award winning author Rowan Jacobsen dubbed Marina the “Red Queen” owing to her obsession with varietal honey in his book, American Terroir.
Which is to say Marchese's palate is so finely tuned that she can literally taste the beekeeper's fear in a smear of honey.
~ Jason Wilson, The Washington Post