Recipe: Bee-LT Sandwich

Bee-LT Sandwich

Bee larvae, when sauteed with a little butter and a few drops of honey, taste very much like bacon.

Sometimes, when I talk about eating bees, I hear concern about the problems plaguing bee populations. Naturally, I would never recommend a bug-gredient that is threatened.

I primarily eat drone larvae, which I get from from beekeepers whom I’ve bee-friended. Unlike worker bees, the drones’ main purpose is to mate with the queen: they do not particiapte in pollination, nurse larvae, or help with hive construction. They buzz from hive to hive to see if anyone needs any mating done, and there are generally an excess of them. It is for this reason that beekeepers often consider them a drain on colony resources. Many beekeepers have a special comb just for drones, which they sometimes use as bait for potential parastites.

Periodically, they remove this comb altogether, toss it into the freezer to kill any “extras” like mites, and then either throw it away or feed it to chickens, if they have any. If more people knew how delicious they are, I think the chickens might have to peck elsewhere! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Bee larvae
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 leaf lettuce
  • 2 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch salt

Sautee the bee larvae in the butter, with a tiny bit of salt and a few drops of honey. Once larvae become golden brown and crispy-looking, remove, and mix into enough egg white to cover and bind them into a mass. Then return them to the sautee butter, pressing them together into a patty.

Toast bread, and slice tomato. Spread mayonnaise on toasted bread when ready. When bee patty becomes firm, place it atop the lettuce and tomato on the sandwich. Enjoy!

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20 responses to “Recipe: Bee-LT Sandwich

  1. WHERE DO YOU BUY COOKED BUGS IN HIGHT QUANTITY? I really hate to kill bugs from my back yard. I just want to by them from a company that can cook it for me. I did buy one from thai company but they are a rip off they gave me really small bugs in a small baggie and I didn’t really enjoy it and refuse to use them again for their quality.

  2. Just wondering if you have seen the documentary “Vanishing of the Bees”? You seem eco-conscious, so I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that you are using some bee larvae that are not threatened. I would encourage you to view the movie if you have not.
    Thanks!

  3. Daniella Martin

    Eto: May I recommend Hotlix.com? You may find some preferable prepared bug there.
    Cassandra: I haven’t seen that particular documentary, but am well aware of the bee situation. Thanks for your comment, it let me know I needed to amend this post to include sourcing information.

  4. As psychologically (which, I admit, is stupid) adverse I am to eating insects, this actually looks very tasty, and like something I could probably be convinced to try.

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  7. How do you get the larvae out of the comb. Also, because the drones don’t sting, I take it there is no bee venom consumed when you eat drone larvae?

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  9. Cassandra – honey bees are not threatened. They are not native to the United States. They are basically the insect equivalent of cattle.

  10. I’m wondering if you render the larvae from the comb or cook it toghether with the comb?

    • Daniella Martin

      I painstakingly remove them from the comb (the best way is while they are as frozen as possible). I read somewhere that in some countries, they boil the whole comb and then skim off the wax.

  11. This looks absolutely delicious! Do you happen to know of any sources for edible insect ingredients and products within Canada? I’ll definitely keep my personal search going, but if you already have some info on it I’d be delighted to know.

  12. Hello Bug Girl – I keep bees and can confirm that you will not do to much harm if you eat some drone larvae and these are often removed from the hive in an effort to control the varroa mite. I have often wondered about the possibility of eating them but never had the courage to do so. If you get an ‘uncapping fork’ from a beekeeping store you will be able to quickly remove drone pupae from fresh sealed drone comb, although I am not sure how this would work with frozen. The uncapping fork has multiple sharp tines which you slice into the cell cappings, which are domed. Take a forkful and lift them out of the cell. There may be varroa mites as well. The uncapping fork is used as a diagnostic tool for the dreaded mite.

    Now you can rear wax worms on the remaining old comb. I haven’t had the courage to eat thes either.

  13. I am now intensely intrigued… I love finding new intriguing things to cook with.. sea cucumbers were amazing..squid ink pasta.. also amazing.. tried scorpion and it wasn’t too bad.. trying this recipe seems to be a logical next step.. I am tempted to start calling the local apiarists in and around Denver Co to see if I can convince them to give me some of their drone larvae.. I am sure they will consider me mad when I tell them its for human consumption.. Is there a good season to check up on the local apiary’s.. and how do you convince them to sell you their live drone larvae? lol

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  15. sorry to rain on your parade but i really think that you shouldn’t use BEE larvae! take a look at my blog and i am sure you’ll agree
    http://www.whathavewedonetoourbees.wordpress.com
    love what you’re doing otherwise but please do try to avoid eating bees :]

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  17. I do wonder, drone larvae often have mites on them.
    Is it safe to eat the larvae after I plucked mites off them? and can I just freeze them off after harvesting? What happens if I accidentally miss a mite?

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