A couple of years ago, I read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, a thought-provoking look at commercial farming practices in the United States. Particularly fascinating to me was the author's attempt to track a single meal from farm to table. Spoiler alert: it's not as easy as you might think. There is often no straight line between mooing animal and juicy steak. The journey is both astonishing and horrifying.
Commercial agriculture is a complex web of transactions that bears scant resemblance to the idyllic scenes of happy chickens and carefree cows that grace the ads of fast food restaurants and grocery stores. "Free-range" and "cage-free" don't mean what we think. In short, We, the People, are often separated by several distant degrees from the food we take for granted.
Now, think about the times in your life when you've eaten a piece of fruit right off the tree. Or a cherry tomato right off the vine--especially after it has been baking in the afternoon sun. I submit to you that it just doesn't get any better than that. There is something special about food that is directly tied to its place of origin. It's why we love farmers' markets and shrimp right off the boat.
I think about this every time I pop open a beehive, brush off a couple of bees, poke my finger into the honeycomb, and enjoy a taste of warm honey directly out of the cell. Now, that is living. And when the ladies of the manor are still crawling around on the comb, I realize how lucky I am to get a taste of the proud little honey bees' labor of love.
We should all be closer to our food. It's not always practical, but it's not always impossible. After the first delicious bite, you will realize that you are on to something very special.
When I am not beekeeping, I teach. I teach what I love. And when I teach, I learn. And then I share what I have learned. In part, that's why I started this webpage. I find honey bees to be endlessly fascinating, and I think it's important to be connected to one's food. Through this blog, I hope to share what I know about creatures that have given me great joy--to educate, demystify, and to bring you closer to the food being made in your own back yard when you aren't even paying attention. So, come back. Ask questions. Learn about bees and honey and beeswax. Come visit the bees. Taste honey right out of the cell. You won't be sorry. You might even get hooked, too. Don't say I didn't warn you.