Christopher Nelson of The Hive Mind Apiary

The Hive Mind Apiary: CLC Craft Food

Food: Interviews & Features

The season of summer is beloved for the vibrancy, warmth and fruitfulness of our surroundings. On Aug. 9–11, Salt Lake City will celebrate summertime, along with the best of our state’s DIY engineers, craft foodies, performers and craftspeople at the 11th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival Presented By Harmons at the Utah State Fairpark. Every year, Craft Lake City commemorates the best of Utah’s creators, this year being CLC’s first at the Utah State Fairpark—there is much to celebrate! Visit to learn more about the 11th DIY Festival.

As a chef, The Hive Mind Apiary ( owner Christopher Nelson has always wanted to find new ways to eliminate food waste, which damages the ecosystem—and much of it is fats. Having taken interest in bee-keeping by accident during an episode of a HowStuffWorks podcast, Nelson purchased a used suit, hive boxes and a smoker from a local classifieds ad and mail-ordered the wire mesh box (roughly shoebox-size) to his front door then started beekeeping. This led to the creation of yummy, infused local honeys and incredible soaps, which will be available at this year’s Craft Lake City DIY Festival.

A favorite of Nelson’s is the Sriracha-infused local raw honey, a sweet, savory, spicy offering! The sweetness of the honey meets the heat of the chile peppers, and the garlic gives it a savory background to build from. It’s paired perfectly for grilling chicken or seafood—add a spoonful to cornbread or a good vanilla-bean ice cream.

If you are looking for soap, try the Peppermint and Coffee Soap Bar. It’s great for the kitchen, as the coffee grounds offer an excellent scrub and are naturally deodorizing. “The coffee grounds are also un-brewed, so the caffeine tightens the skin and increases blood flow/circulation naturally—all with the fresh scent of peppermint,” Nelson says.

During bee-hibernation season, Nelson collects and renders the discarded fat in the food to make soap. “In this way, even though it’s an animal product, I can produce a genuinely ethical product that is not only entirely local but also beneficial to the local environment,” he says. “Adding honey to the soap was just a no-brainer. Not only does the natural sugar add lather to the final product, but the honey is also packed with vitamins that are wonderful for your skin. And in this way, you don’t have to cover yourself in honey to receive them.”

You can find The Hive Mind Apiary every weekend at the Downtown Farmers’ Market and the Wheeler Farm Farmer’s Market, online at their site or on Facebook and Instagram @thehivemindapiary. –Mandy Murry

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