Stingless Mayan bees are known as “the royal ladies” because of their sweet disposition and incredible value to Mayan culture, producing honey for use as a sweetener, an antibiotic and ritual uses. Now, they and the ancient way of caring for them are dying out because of the rise of Africanized bees.
“This might hurt…”
Sometimes even bees wake up on the wrong side of the bed. One in particular had a very grumpy morning and didn’t get her regular cuppa nectar. As I rounded the corner carrying my pail of scraps for the compost pile, Grumpy Girl attacked: right at my throat. I screamed and grabbed her and managed to remove the stinger as I ran for the house….forgetting of course that I had locked the door. Three of her mates pursued me and buzzed malevolently around me. I finally got rid of them, then returned to my dropped bucket. In an instant, they were on me again, especially the Grumpy Girl. This time, I had the presence of mind to click open my truck door and jump in, as GG beat herself against the window.
What did I do? I thought to myself, as my throat began to pulse with pain. Later, I walked over to my neighbour to borrow her full bee-suit and a thought occurred. I had liberally spread sunscreen on myself before I walked out. Obviously, GG and her friends did NOT like my scent. Next time, maybe I should roll in something highly scented, like my darling dogs and bee-yard helpers, Lily and Hamish, who never seem to get stung despite trying to bite bees in half.
Three days later, my throat is still sore and itchy. I’m glad Grumpy Girl only had time to give me a tiny shot of her venom. Live and learn.
Red @ Blue
The honey was a-runnin’ in the bluegrass at the Galop Canal Bluegrass Festival last month. It was lovely to hear the fiddles and the guitars and the singing. Can’t wait ’til next year, honey bee!
Meantime, find us at Halee’s Lockview Gift Shop at Iroquois Locks, Burchell’s Home Hardware in Cardinal and Rooney Feeds at Iroquois. We’ll also be at Prescott Farmers’ Market in Prescott some Saturdays. Come by and say “Howdy!”
If you’re in Ottawa, find us at Jacobson’s, Westboro Pharmasave or French Cafe in Manotick.
Light, spicy honey from Bavaria, Germany
#redhousehoney06 Red House Honey recently visited the Bavarian alps and was delighted to find honey, bees, beekeepers and “honigauses” (honey houses) in abundance. RHH brought back a jar of sunny Bavarian mountain honey to sample. Cracking open the jar was like hiking through an alpine meadow in autumn. This Bavarian honey is a lovely amber colour with light spicy notes of wild thyme and wide open spaces. Autumn honey tends to be darker and thicker, with a tendency to crystallize. No worries though: if this happens to your honey, simply immerse it in a hot water bath for an hour or so and it will re-liquify.
The Honey House, Bavaria