I want to be a bee keeper. It fits right in with my Wendell Berry inspired fantasies.
Of course this new passion for bees comes on the heels of our 52 Sunday Suppers cooking class where we took a field trip to our neighborhood apiary, Bee Weaver. Since 1888, the Weaver family has been making the world sweeter with their love and care of bees.
As a food lover, I appreciate honey. I cook with honey and the Littles love the sweet goodness drizzled on warm, buttered biscuits. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches have been a lunch box staple since pre-school. But in the busyness of life, I’ve never given much thought to the production of honey and how hard those tiny, stripped-bodied creatures must work to produce one of life’s sweetest inventions.
Laura Weaver was a gracious hostess and educated our group on the intricacies of bee keeping. Bees are fascinating creatures and I left our visit in awe of our God who truly out did himself when he created the bee.
Bee hives are led by the queen bee. The queen is truly the heart and soul of the hive and it’s her job to populate the entire colony. Worker bees, who are all females, do the heavy lifting protecting the hive, taking care of the queen, producing wax, creating the comb, and foraging flowers filling their pollen baskets before returning to the hive to produce the honey. The drone bee is the only male in the colony and there are relatively few in each hive. The sole job of the drone is to mate with the queen. However if they are lucky enough to mate with the queen, their fortune is short lived as drones die immediately after mating.
A fascinating little community. And, oh the honey they produce!
Straight from the honeycomb we tasted the sweetness of the bees labor. Then the class returned home to my kitchen where we created several honey inspired recipes. We learned to make Susie’s delicious Amish white bread and cinnamon honey butter, toasted life and bees with glasses of my honey ginger Prosecco, and dipped our pinkies into my favorite honey mustard dressing. We dove deep into conversation inspired by the awe we experienced by our encounter with the bees. And we celebrated the goodness of local love and the blessings of getting to know your neighbors. Did I mention Laura is my neighbor? Yep. We met on the lacrosse field.
This week’s menu is sweet. Inspired by bees. All made with honey.
Week 18 Menu
Bee Good Vinaigrette tossed with fresh spinach, hard boiled egg, red onion & bacon
- ½ cup whole grain mustard
- ¼ cup local honey
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- Add all ingredients to a glass jar. Shake with lid on until well combined. Toss with your favorite salad. Will store in refrigerator for a week.
Have a sweet week friends!