Bees are on my mind

Bees seem to be everywhere for me this month. Here are three stories…

First, take a close look at this photo. Yes, that man is covered with live bees. His name is Norman Gary and he is a retired beekeeper, entomology professor and researcher from the University of California, Davis. As I was reading through this month’s copy of California Farmer, I saw this article and was amazed.

Like many people, I was stung by bees when I was young – actually I was stung 22 times by yellow jackets. So, I’ve always have had a bit of a phobia of them. But this guy has no fear! And anyone who has been on Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and involved in “Fried Green Tomatoes” has my admiration!

Second, my book club this month read “Little Bee,” a moving book by Chris Cleave. I was intrigued by its bright orange cover. Of course, I cannot tell you about what happens in the book, but I can tell you that it is a fast read and has both sad and happy moments. It is about a young African girl who leaves her country.

And, finally, do you want to know about one of the most sought after honeycomb products in the United States? Coming all the way from New Zealand, our honeycomb is part of a cottage industry on the North Island, just south of Auckland.

We are so fortunate to have been introduced to Helen “Honey” Wright, who has been lovingly producing fresh honeycomb for more than 20 years. Helen and her husband, John and daughter Fiona, shipped us their first honeycomb back in 1989, and now we receive boat shipments that are hand-crated several times a year.

In addition to the amazing flavor of the honey, which comes from the unique grasses that surround Helen’s farm, our honeycomb is unique because they come in natural wooden frames. Professional chefs from all over the country go crazy for our honeycomb. They are very popular in dessert platters, along with artisan cheeses dried fruits.

Two years ago, my sister Jackie and her family took a trip to New Zealand and went to visit Helen Wright and her family and honeybees. Helen is like family to us.

Hope this adds a little sweetness to your life!