My summer breakfast favorite of Greek yogurt, berries and walnuts is tinged with touches of sweet golden autumn --Autumn Morning honey from Barre, MA that is. Dear patient Shoestringers, I bring you the bees at last! This post was supposed to debut last week but the vengeful tech gods intervened: one dead Macbook Pro and a mad scramble to extract my hard drive files and secure a backup PC later, here we are, back buzzing away at a keyboard and ready to focus on something a little less mechanical but doubly miraculous. Honey, that sustaining wonder, and the animals that create it have been everywhere I look lately, and I don't just mean the little workers buzzing away in my black eyed Susan patch. Honey bees, and their struggles and triumphs, keep finding ways to fly into my consciousness these past several weeks and with it I have renewed gratitude for the service they provide our ecosystem, as well as our breakfast tables.
|Local yum from Follow the Honey|
|The product of many bees' efforts!|
But it's not just the honey that matters. Without the pollination activities of bees, the world would be in big trouble, and bees today face more threats than ever, from polluting pesticides to mystery viruses. The world's beekeepers are on the front lines of the bee battle, helping foster healthy hives while at the same time bolstering economic growth and self-sufficiency in communities across the globe through the ethical harvesting and selling of honey. Mary Canning, the proprietor of Follow the Honey is one such bee warrior. Not only is the shop a hub for bee education and events, but Follow the Honey has partnered with the African nation of Tanzania to aid the production and import of local honey products to the US.
|The intrepid Mary Canning with business partner David Camara in Tanzania.|
Photo: Rodgers Kamala, courtesy of Mary Canning
In addition to selling honey on tap from Louisiana and Mexico, Follow the Honey has bees producing the sweet stuff much closer to home (as evidenced by my delish breakfast). They even have a hive on view at the Cambridge shop patio and it was fascinating to see the bees busy at work. The hive in residence is a warre hive, a style of hive that doesn't employ comb templates and thus gives the bees freedom to strut their architectural stuff:
|A warre hive - Follow the Honey, Cambridge, MA|
|Ivy of Follow the Honey tends the honey-tasting bar.|
Photo: Louise Claire Johnson, courtesy of Mary Canning
|Look bee-autiful with natural skincare products like C'est La Bee's Mild Lemon Balm.|
Ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, bees wax, almond oil, lemon oil, wheat germ oil, soy bean oil, aloe, vitamin e, rosemary leaf oil.
|The Mild Lemon balm is perfect medicine for dry lips & elbows!|
In summation, Follow the Honey is darling and bees are divine! And if you want to learn more about bees, bee-keeping, bee-welfare, etc. buzz on over to Follow the Honey August 22, 2015 for a special National Honey Bee Day event!
Oh, and one more thing, you definitely could say I've had bees on the brain, here's a little crafty something I got to working on when my Mac died last week:
|For pics of my latest projects & more follow Sally on Instagram: @shoestringsally|
Bee creative, Shoestringers!