Northern Wildflower Honey
As I mentioned before, I grew up on a farm with no electricity and, ergo, no TV. The bonus to this arrangement was that my Daddy would read to us at night, and one of the books we read was "Winnie-the-Pooh" by A.A. Milne. It is a great joy for me to see that our granddaughter also enjoys Pooh... I guess that makes him and his book "classic", right?
As you will recall, one of the downfalls for Pooh was his great predilection for gorging on raw honey. I myself recall eating quite a large quantity of honey as a child: in sandwiches, dripping from a spoon, on porridge, and melting into my Gran's hot biscuits.
I grew up in an area of Saskatchewan famous for its honey. In fact, a nearby town, Tisdale, advertised that it was "the land of Rape and Honey". I believe this rather risqué double-entendre is still used to distinquish Tisdale, even though farmers grow Canola and not rape(seed) anymore.
Of course, northern wildflower honey would not have been available except for the profusion of wildflowers that grew in ditches and fields, and the hardworking honey bee that gathered the wildflower pollen and turned it into honey. And, as a sort of sidebar, the honeybee pollinated about 80% of all cultivated crops-- apparently still does.
So, with the advent of Colony Collapse Disorder, or the mystery of the Missing and Mite-plagued Honey Bee, you can see how the food crops of the world are being impacted. Without pollination, there are, simply, no flowering plants. Einstein is believed to have stated "if the honey bee dies out, man will not be far behind".
My new beekeeper friend, Sandy, who I met at Seedy Sunday down Island in Nanaimo, says (of her bee colonies), "I don't take My Girls up the mountain anymore because of all the "bio science" that is happening up there. I also used to put some hives in a yard [near where we live], but there are new neighbors there and I'm not sure what they will be using to keep their weeds down." When I got in touch with her a week afterwards to ask if I could buy some more honey she explained,
"Sorry, I am all out of honey until the next honey crop is harvested in October. All of us beekeepers are hoping for better summer than last year's. Spoke to a beekeeper yesterday at Cobble Hill. He lost all if his hives and must start anew."
So, we are guarding this raw amber fluid like it were liquid gold, which I suppose, it is.
In case you missed out on this forwarded email (yes, I hate those things too, but this one was one of the rare "worth keeping" ones), click here to read about some of the many things honey is good for (in this case, honey and cinnamon).
Honey vs. the Dreaded MRSA
"The Barefoot Beekeeper" Sustainable, Chemical-free Beekeeping