I am getting hooked on locally home-grown honey! In the past month, I have been lucky enough on two occasions to get some samples! The first was from Five Hands Farm out of Minnesota. The owner was in the booth next to mine at a local art show in February. She had honey, in cute little bottles, of which I purchased two for 4 oz. total. Thick, sweet, and slightly flowery in taste, I have been adding it sparingly to one cup a day of my hot tea, with a little fresh lemon squeezed into the steaming, brown, comforting liquid as well. I used the last of it last night. Delicious!
But, just in the nick of time, yesterday afternoon I was given a whole pint of home-made honey from a teacher-friend of mine. I have been cleaning out bookcases in our home and put word out through social media that I had some to give away. In an effort to have some reading/activity options for overnighting grandchildren, she took some of the books. I got honey in return! Yum!
Bees are fascinating! Last year, for the first time in thirteen years, I did a unit on bees for my garden cub students. I learned some important facts. One of which was that there are solitary bees and social bees. Honey bees are social bees, meaning they live in a hive, each contributing to the hive community by performing different jobs. Then, there are solitary bees. These bees include species like the mason bee. Mason bees are highly efficient pollinators, especially for fruit trees. And, unbeknownst to most, are better pollinators than honey bees! Since we have a home fruit orchard, I purchased a couple of mason bee houses to place in the orchard. I hope they get more action this year than last. Unlike honey bees, mason bees do not produce honey and do not perform a specific job. They do not live in a hive. Instead, they use hollowed out sticks to make cells for reproducing and carrying on the life cycle.
One hears different things about beekeeping. Some say it is difficult, others say it is easy. One friend had her hives collapse and another has been successful. I am spread pretty thin considering the number of hobbies I already have. So, for now, I’ll just admire those who are keeping bees. And, I am always pleased to be the beneficiary of some honey! Thank you bees and friends!
I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by TwoWritingTeachers. Thank you for sponsoring a wonderful community of writers!