often, when i tell people that i belong to a beekeeping club they giggle, and i have to agree, i sort of do too. truth be told, it is one of the best things i did when i decided i wanted to become a beekeeper.
hundreds of people meet every month at the eastern missouri beekeepers association (emba) to discuss what is happening in our little world. there are all sorts of people who attend; lawyers, doctors, farmers, kids, women and men. many don't even have a hive yet, they just want to find out what to do so that when they decide to keep bees, they are prepared. i've been a beekeeper for five years now, and i often feel i know nothing, but wisdom is gained by surrounding myself with people who know more than i do, so i giggle and i learn.
i photographed one of our members, joy stinger, a year ago for a local food magazine and have stayed in touch with her ever since because she is so interesting and nice. joy has been a beekeeper for many years. she makes wine, quilts, candles, raises chickens, and sells her "stinger honey" in many of the local stores as well. joy has more energy than almost anyone i know.
recently, she loaned me a book titled, "the life of a bee". it is a beautifully illustrated book, written by maurice maeterlinck, illustrated by edward j. detmold, and translated from french by alfred sutro. originally published in 1901, this illustrated version was reprinted in 1911 in london by george allen & company.
the book is worth reading just for it's poetic observations on nature and bees, but the tipped in illustrations are what really grabbed me. i hope you enjoy these beautiful illustrations as much as i do.
WOODSIDE HONEY IS ROOTED IN A KINDRED SPIRIT OF FOUR GENERATIONS OF BEEKEEPING.
Several small colonies of bees can be found on a portion of our old family farm and namesake. Built in 1848 and standing proudly as the oldest home in Maplewood, Missouri it is notably listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Beekeeping was once considered a country enterprise but with the rich multiflora sources thriving in an urban landscape, the city offers a vast and nourishing palette for exceptional honey. And while one in three bites of our food depends upon the pollination of bees, urban beekeepers are contributing greatly to this process as an alarming number of bees are dying due to pesticides used in conventional farming, among other causes. Urban beekeeping is a niche practice throughout the United States and Europe where colonies of honey-bees flourish in major cities such as San Francisco, Manhattan and atop the Opera House in Paris.
Woodside Honey supports responsible practices that pay homage to the cultural traditions of food and their impact on the planet. Our efforts resonate with both a rich lineage of artisans and a contemporary consciousness. We believe that buying thoughtfully grown and locally produced food is a healthier alternative and simply makes good sense.
Beginning in February as trees start to bloom, our honeybees will travel upwards of two miles in search of early nectar sources and will continue their work until Autumn's end. Honey is collected in late Spring and Fall from the colony. Surplus honey is stored by the bees in smaller frames called "supers". Once collected, these frames are then placed in a machine which uses centrifugal force to extract the raw honey. It is then lightly filtered and packaged, with spring honey lighter in hue and the Fall a warm amber due to the differences in the seasonal flora. It takes the lifetime of nearly 300 hard-working bees to collect enough nectar to produce a four once jar of honey. And among the many benefits and delectable delights of consuming local raw honey, is the belief that it is an immunity booster for people with allergies. So enjoy your Woodside Honey, thoughtfully crafted with care for you.