On Saturday Stephen went out into the fields all beekeepered up and did some hivekeeping work. A friend of ours came over to help (our friend is also a beekeeper, we have some very cool friends) and they worked away, intently, in a cloud of smoke at the bottom of Home Field. Stephen added supers to our brood boxes as we now have a lot of baby bees in there and they really need to move on up and start producing honey for themselves and (hopefully) us too.
During the moving and organising and producing of large billowing clouds of smoke, Stephen apparently had to shave off some comb here and there. It all became moulded together into the curious ball you see above. It has a primordial quality that I am fascinated by. It is so clearly organic, it varies in colour and texture and has a sweet but smoky scent, like summery earth and beeswax.
Shimmering inside those mysterious passageways and caves of wax there is a delicate, sweet substance known as honey. If you hold the ball in your hand for a minute you’ll end up with tiny beads of the sweet nectar on your skin, you can lick it off and revel in the delicate flavour that is present but also elusive.
I know because I did it.
The taste is a little like maple syrup and a little like flowers. There are delicate hints of sunshine warmth with traces of green leaves and buds; each drop tastes a little different and is never, ever enough. It is, perhaps the sweetest thing I’ve ever tasted and satisfies both physically and emotionally. These are our bees, there will be our honey. I’m not sure it gets sweeter than that.