MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Beekeeper and chef don’t generally go hand in hand, but Brian Frakes is taking his job description to a whole new level.
“You could feel the wind of their wings in my face and buzzing. It was intense but I enjoyed it,” said Frakes.
Frakes is the executive chef for all three restaurants in the Pfister Hotel.
Now he’s also the on-site beekeeper with plans to use the locally sourced honey in signature dishes this fall.
“What’s more of a taste of Milwaukee then these little fellas running out and getting our flavors from our trees and plants and vegetables and flowers from around the city,” said Frakes.
The two hives on top of the hotel contain more than 20,000 bees.
This effort is also helping with concerns over Colony Collapse Disorder, which is an unexplained and significant decline in the bee population.
“They’re in trouble and therefore that means that we`re in trouble. Some would say the day the last bee goes, 30 days later so do we. We`re that dependent on the honey bees,” said Frakes.
While carefully monitoring the bees, Frakes has had to overcome his childhood fears.
“I did take my first sting yesterday. Although, I didn’t love it, it’s not that bad. It’s worth it,” said Frakes.
Frakes expects the bees to produce 60 pounds of honey, which will be used in everything from drinks at Blu, to honey facials in the spa.
“We love to do all kinds of honey pairings. We’ll start doing honey dinners once this starts to get produced and up and running. There are also talks of spinning our own honey ice cream,” said Frakes.
A sweet addition hitting plates this fall.