Cheese is a living and changing entity. It’s important to wrap Beehive cheeses tightly to keep mold spores out and moisture in. Airborne mold spores looking for a moist, warm place to start a family will gladly take up residence on the surface of cheese and produce funk. The good bacteria that give cheese its flavor needs water to do its magic, so don't let it dry out!
Cheese is a living entity. There are millions of metabolically active bacteria in each gram of cheese at any given time during maturation. As a cheese ripens, the activity of starter lactic acid bacteria (LABs) decreases and the activity of non‐starter lactic acid bacteria (NSLABs) increases to levels that exceed 1 million per gram. When the LABs die off, they release their enzymes into the protein matrix. These enzymes generate metabolites for other microbes, whose
emergence impart desirable flavor attributes. Water is essential for the survival and function of these microorganisms and enzymes require. Larger amounts of available water will increase enzymatic activity and microbiological growth. When a cheese contains too little water, enzymatic reactions that are essential to flavor and texture development may proceed too slowly or not at all, and microorganisms that contribute to ripening may be unable to grow and remain metabolically active. Thus along with the pH and salt contents, the initial moisture content of the cheese shapes the microbiological and enzymatic changes that occur during ripening. Beehive Cheese strives to reach optimal moisture content within its cheese. Beehive Cheese cheeses have a 36% moisture content, and a water activity of 0.9‐0.95. Water activity (aw) is the amount of water (free/unbound) that is available to microorganisms. Moisture content is the total quantity of water contained in a material. Mold growth can occur at an aw as low as 0.8. Molds consist of fungus growths, which start as spore particles that move through the air and land on top of exposed surfaces. In order for a spore particle to grow into a mold, it must find a warm, moist growth medium and cheese, in general, provides these optimal growth conditions.