lant genetics and local terroir will impart unique ﬂavor proﬁles on our harvested honey. It’s an interesting thing to consider, and it may change your opinion about the beauty of the bee. I imagine that Hollywood is much to blame for instilling fear of bees into many, with depictions of Friar Tuck using bees to defend a village in a recent movie adaptation of Robin Hood. Trust me, honeybees are wonderful and like people, they will be kind and gentle if that’s how they are treated.
I, too, had reservations the ﬁrst time I opened the hive hearing the vibrant hum of twenty thousand pulsating bees. All that Hollywood baggage came into play as I worked my way through inspection. Over time though, my fears have lessened as I have observed the workings of a healthy hive. Honeybees have a calming sense of order and place. I can easily imagine myself when I hit the “rocking chair” age, sitting restfully and watching the goings on at a beehive. The constant ﬂying in and out of a hive is reminiscent of Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. It seems like controlled and organized mayhem, and it is oh so captivating. The frenzy that is observable on the outside is no less frantic on the inside. The worker bees have developed a sophisticated system of dancing around the hive. A honeybee that returns to the hive will do a dance telling its hive-mates where to ﬁnd water, nectar and pollen. There may be multiple dances going on at the same time by worker bees. One dance tells of a nectar source and another mapping out a route to the nearest pond. (Continued on page 110)
Foodies of New England