Monday, February 21, 2011
In anticipation of bees
It wasn't until last night watching "Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds" (and the groundbreaking slow motion photography of Michael H. Dickinson that sorted all this out in 2006) that I learned what a feat of aviation marvel bees perform. During flight, their bumpy half-drunken flight, they actually use short choppy high speed flapping and twist their wings so that both the backward and forward motions create lift. For their body size, their flapping is outrageously fast. Nothing short of amazing!
But really amazes me about bees is honey. I love honey. Its gooey goldenness on a spoon was used by my mom as a cough suppressant when I was a child. An evening of laboured coughing was invariably met by a spoonful of sweet goodness to be sucked. I don't actually know if there is any medicinal benefit to honey in this use, but the slow coating of my throat seemed to help. I would drift off to sleep comforted at least.
For my children, when they were young and wouldn't swallow a pill, I would often crush it up and hide it in a thick dollop of honey on a spoon. One upping Mary Poppins' spoonful of sugar, I felt much better giving the kids something a little closer to the garden than the factory.
Then the big decisions will come. Mead or gifts? How much do we hoard away for ourselves? What can I do to take out the sugar and substitute honey in my baking and cooking? What kind of jars would be best to give away at Christmas. Like the bees, I will be flapping quite hard here for a while.
(Thanks to IslandMoments Newsletter Jan/Feb2010 for the gorgeous bee picture at the top of the blog!)