One of my earliest memories is of being stung by a bee. I was three and the sting was preceded by me seeing a peony plant in bloom, and followed by the uproar that would have naturally come with a small child being stung.
In thinking about it now, I must have spotted a bee bobbing in and out of one of those flowers and grabbed at it. So it stung in self defense because “a honey bee that is away from the hive foraging for nectar or pollen will rarely sting, except when stepped on or roughly handled”. (Wikipedia)
Some other bee facts that I probably knew at one time but didn’t remember are : Only females are worker-bees who go out and collect pollen and make honey. Male bees, called Drones, are only there to impregnate the Queen Bee. In the fall the males are no longer required and so are expelled from the hives. Oh yes, and they die after they mate.
Toronto is a bit of a bee paradise. In addition to the fact that there is a law against using pesticides or any chemicals in any yard, garden or park, there are many professional and hobbyist beekeepers out there securing the welfare of bees. So the insects are doing very well here, apparently better than they are out in the rural areas.
The ones that come to our particular neighbourhood are very likely residents of the hives kept on the rooftop of a downtown hotel called The Royal York, where they have 40,000 worker-bees providing plenty of honey for their chefs to use.
It’s good to know that the fuzzy ladies we see all summer long, floating from flower to flower, are being well taken care of.
While I’ve always admired and respected the hard work they do for mankind and understand that if they were not here to pollinate the food we eat, we wouldn’t be here either, I’ve never really been much of a supporter of their main ‘product’, honey.
In the past Nick and I have not really used much honey at all. Like, well … we never use it.
So when Nick’s sister and brother-in-law gifted us with a couple of jars, (made by Fredrich’s Honey on Vancouver Island), earlier this summer when we were out there visiting, we were grateful for the gift, but felt like this lovely offering was a bit wasted on us.
Regardless, we packed those jars carefully in our luggage (almost forgetting that they’d be taken from us at the airport if we tried to bring them in our carry-on bags, as I was suggesting) and got them home.
Then they sat in the cupboard for a month unopened.
Then two things happened:
One – I read a post by the delightful blogger, Rosie of The Londoner. She had just been to Greece and in writing about her trip she casually mentioned having Honey, Greek Yogurt and Fruit for breakfast. Just after I read that particular post Nick came to say that he was going to the grocery store for a few things and asked if I wanted anything. ‘Why yes’ I replied, ‘Please get me some Greek Yogurt and whatever fruit is looking good’.
Two – He came home from the store with a basket of locally grown peaches.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the first jar of honey is almost all gone now.
Now, I know this is absolutely nothing new, as humans have been eating honey for 8,000 years, but the honey eating is a happenin’ around here.
We’ve also had a second basket of peaches. Turns out honey and peaches go very nicely together.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with a few things that I’ve made using these ingredients, all tasty and all quite easy.
Wishing you a sweet and peachy Monday,