Oh, Beehive
Home-harvested honey is abundant this spring
Life / 22 Mar 2011
Blame it on Michael Pollan, the slow-to-recover economy, or a new generation of farmers, but the locavore movement shows no sign of slowing down. From root vegetables to pickles, the most humble of foods are still enjoying the spotlight. The latest homegrown trend promises to sweeten the deal even further, with the resurgence of honey in all of its many forms.
Maine Mead Works
: French anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss pinpointed mead, also known as “the drink of kings,” to be the historical indicator of the shift “from nature to culture.” Maine Mead Works, however, eschews the beverage’s ancient roots, instead relying on cutting edge technology in its reinterpretation of the beverage. Since Ben Alexander and Dr. Garth Cambray first launched the Portland-based company in 2007, it has expanded its fermented repertoire to include seven different flavors of mead (among them are Strawberry, Elderberry and Lavender). Each bottle is barrel-aged in American oak and made with 100-percent wildflower honey, which means that the flavor evolves from season to season, depending on what the local bees have been devouring.
Anarchy Apiaries
: With a website that looks like a Xeroxed zine and a DIY philosophy that aims to get younger people into beekeeping, Anarchy Apiaries lives up to its name. The goal is to liberate bees from what founder Sam Comfort (who claims he started keeping bees after winning a few hives in a poker game) considers to be oppressive practices. That means embracing a wild approach to beekeeping, setting up top bar hives, and spreading the gospel to other apiarists through workshops and skillshares. Although his methods go against common wisdom, Comfort points to the success he’s had with small cell beekeeping, especially in the face of the mysterious bee wipeout that has kept the media abuzz for the past decade.
Brooklyn Honey
: It’s been just one year since New York City legalized beekeeping, and local apiarists have been making up for lost time. Brooklyn Honey, founded by Greenpoint resident Meg Paska, is launching what is believed to be another first for the city: a honey CSA. Fans of her local honey can nab one of the limited timeshare spots, each of which includes two shipments during the summer: The first, a “light and herbal” honey, will be ready in July, and the second, a “dark and spicy” honey, in August. Those who don’t sign up in time aren’t completely out of luck, as the nectar of the bees is also available at a handful of shops.
©The Intelligence Group