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The Wright Stuff: WTAE's Michelle Wright is all the buzz at the Flea

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We welcome WTAE's Michelle Wright to this month's Neighborhood Flea. Many of you will be familiar with her as a news anchor and personality - but what you may not have known is that she is also an accomplished beekeeper! We wanted to get you the buzz about Michelle's honey so we asked her a few questions about her sweet hobby! 

AND- she will have some of her bees on hand to meet you at the Flea.

Here is a quick video from last Friday where a bee's back is rubbed to calm it down! Check it out at the 2 min mark!

HONEY! Owning beehives is not for the faint of heart, it requires lots of love and a certain level of training. Tell us how you became interested in raising bees and where you were trained. And, have you ever been stung?! 

Yes! I've been stung four times. OUCH! But honey bees try not to sting unless you step on them or go after their honey.  I wear my full protective bee suit but my partner, Jim Fitzroy, wears no protection at all. I became interested after doing news reports for WTAE-TV about how honey bees are disappearing.  When I learned they are responsible for pollinating every third bite of food we take I began to understand the importance of their survival.  Without honey bees we'd have fewer selections of foods and they'd be much more expensive.  

HONEY BEE FACTS: 
It takes 768 honey bees to make 1 lb of honey 
Two million flowers are tapped to make 1 lb of honey 
A honey bee gathers 1/10 of a teaspoon of honey in an entire lifetime 
Honey bees fly the equivalent of twice around the world to gather one pound of honey. 
Each hive has about 60,000 residents (which means this Spring the population of The Wright Stuff hives will be more than the population of Pittsburgh!) 

Are your bees kept near home or are they a part of a community hive? 

I have my hives in Penn Hills but I'm expanding this Spring to various farms in the area. 

How do you recommend shoppers use The Wright Stuff honey products? Do you have a favorite recipe you'd like to share?  

I am going to bring raw honey,  raw honeycomb, lotion with beeswax and essential oils, and amazing artwork using my beeswax.  The honeycomb is a great addition to a charcuterie plate. I have a lot of favorite ways to use the raw liquid honey.  

Here are two recipes.  I love using honey and soy sauce to make a glaze over salmon and then putting a chunk of real honeycomb on top. YUM!  But my favorite of all is to put honey on a hot buttered biscuit.  That's my weakness.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
two 6-ounce pieces salmon fillet
preparation

In a small bowl whisk together honey, soy sauce, lime juice, mustard, and water. In a small non-stick skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook salmon 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden and just cooked through. Transfer salmon to 2 plates. Add honey glaze to skillet and simmer, stirring, 1 minute. Pour glaze over salmon.

When are the best times of year to harvest and sell your bees' honey? Where else can shoppers find your products throughout the year? 

I harvest twice a year. Once in the middle of June and the other in September.  The light-colored Spring honey has a light flavor while the dark gorgeous Fall honey has a bit of a stronger taste. Right now the only place you can find my honey is at festivals such as Neighborhood Flea!