Friday, June 10, 2011
On my way to the Fermentation Festival last month, I stopped by Beekind, a store in Sebastopol that sells local and varietal honeys, bee related products, and beekeeping supplies. I have heard of this place for quite a while. What makes it stands out is that they have their own bee farm, and you can taste over 50 different honey. By the way, if you don't have car or don't want to drive all the way out to Sebastopol, they have a small kiosk inside of the Ferry Building in San Francisco that sells honey and bee wax candles.
Sebastopol is a beautiful little town. It's amazing how rapidly the scenery changes from the short drive between San Francisco to Sebastopol. The beautiful bee mural is hard to miss as you drive down Gravenstein Highway. I was very excited to be there. I entered the beekeeping supply shop briefly then quickly went to the honey shop next door. I wanted to try every kind of honey at the tasting bar. It was hard to decide what to get.
I loved California orange blossom honey cream, so I got a couple of the small jars. Since I am a big lavender fan, and there are at least 6 varieties of lavender on Sand Village Farm, I always have to try anything that's lavender flavored. Some lavender flavored edibles taste too artificial and some taste like bath products! Their Sonoma lavender honey tasted wonderful. I also got some Oregon blackberry and a bigger jar of Northwest raspberry.
After I carried all my little glass jars of honey to the car, my friend pointed out that there were beehives in the garden behind the parking lot. We went back there to visit the bees. Since there were stacks and stacks of hives all concentrated in a small area, the bees could be intimidating to some people. A couple years ago I would not be able to approach a colony this size at ease. In July, 2010, 3 beehives in San Francisco Hayes Valley Farm were attacked by pesticide, killing up to 200,000 honeybees. I can't begin to fathom what was going through that person's mind. I don't think any healthy minded people can. As Master Ken puts it, some people are irrationally fearful of bees. When people hear me talking about bees and capturing bee swarms without protective gear, they can't imagine that I was extremely fearful of them over a year ago, but the bees have shown me that they never mean any harm to anybody as long as you don't provoke them. So, be kind to honey bees, and they will be kind to you in return.