On honey

An old food, our hunter and gatherer ancestors probably figured this one out right away. Getting it away from the bees might have been a wholly other problem, but it was sweet and they were hungry. One of my favorite foods, I used to take a honey and butter sandwich to school. I guess there is nothing written about taste, especially when you are dealing with an eight-year-old. One of my absolute all-time favorite snacks is freshly made bread, toasted with butter and honey. The bees do work hard and tirelessly to produce this strange and sticky product. Odd how we can just separate it from the comb and it’s immediately edible. I mean, bees are insects, and we can eat insect food? Bees and their hive mentality and social community is a little creepy. Their love of six-sided forms seems a little obsessive, if not overly geometric. Their precision is only matched by their remarkable ability to repeat their structures ad infinitum. Bees do not bother me although all the other winged stinging creatures do, especially the wasp and hornet varieties, which really don’t produce much good any way you look at them. Bees, on the other hand, just seem obsessed with making honey and more bees. This is the natural way of the world, but honey seems to be a wonderfully capricious and haphazard by-product of these hard-working striped drones. Beekeepers, such as Sherlock Holmes, usually use a bit of smoke to tame these gentle creatures. Make no mistake, if you rile them up, be prepared for a trip to the emergency room. If enough of these little guys sting you, your life could be in danger. Yet, if you leave it to the experts, you can enjoy this simple sugary pleasure on your toast or in your tea. The taste varies according to which bees are making the honey, where they are living, and which flowers they have from which to chose. The honey can pick up the taste of wild flowers, or orange blossoms, depending on what is growing in the area. So I love honey, and it doesn’t really bother me that I’m eating insect food extraordinaire.