As many of know, I have more than a few causes swarming my brain at any given moment – homeless pets, puppymills, Rwanda, donkeys, the environment, the list goes on and on. So it’s probably no surprise that a movie, some ice cream and a new house delivered my latest cause and passion almost literally to my doorstep.
Haagen Daz put bees on my radar several years ago with their decadent ice cream sweetened with honey. Ice Cream + Honey = Great Cause. Sign me up. I knew that bees were in trouble but I really didn’t know to what extent until I saw the incredible documentary Vanishing Of The Bees.
This beautiful film shows the plight of the average honeybee (I know, I know kids are starving in Africa but stick with me) and the stress that our environment and demands place on their tiny little backs. Without them farming as we know it would not exist.
So I guess it’s a good thing we got this house with only two neighbors and lots of land. We didn’t realize at the time that the home also came with seven of it’s own hives. Big, happy, thriving hives. We were going to be bee parents sooner than we thought. There was only one itty-bitty, tiny problem. Living in the walls of our courtyard, by the front door and smack dab in the middle of where my pizza oven will live wasn’t exactly ideal. I’m sure a little honey would be amazing on a butternut squash and lemon ricotta pizza but I don’t want my guests dodging hundreds of bees in between slices.
So I called Bill from Guerilla Beekeepers and I spent the day cocooned in a bee suit, cutting honeycomb from the walls of our courtyard and framing the comb and it’s inhabitants into a new hive so they could live somewhere other than outside our front door. I even got to be an accomplice to the queen’s capture when she escaped the hive and her loyal workers followed her and began to swarm to protect her. It was beautiful.
After three days of extracting, a hundred pounds of honey and not a single sting, my precious bees are happily living in new hives on Suzie’s Farm, eagerly awaiting their return to Casa de Cheve. (Yes they will be coming back, as soon as we get the jungle we call our backyard in order.)
This all may sound a little nutty. I mean, really…who decides to don a head to toe protective suit on their day off to rescue bees? I do. And it was beautiful and invigorating and inspiring. And of course the honey is pretty damn good too!