My last two permaculture reviews have been talking about big concepts and the applications of small, simple ideas as ways to approach good land management as that fits with permacultural principles. I'd like to say that bees, like mushrooms, will save the world in unexpected ways, but if that's true, I don't yet know what they are. I want to keep bees for two reasons:
First, bees are nifty and ecologically important.
We talked about the two styles of hives that one can keep, and we actually got the design instructions to build our own of the simpler style, which also has the benefit of involving a simple and straightforward way of harvesting the honey. I may have to branch out into beekeeping this summer. I wonder if it's too late in the year to start a hive?
Brock told us a funny story of opening up one of his community's hives and finding three cells filled with bright red honey. He and his buddies tasted it: Cherry Coke. The bees had obviously found someone's soda and done what bees do with sugar water: make honey! (The "dehydrated bee puke" description was his, by the way.) This story, of course, made me think to myself, "Hm! Novelty honey!" But I can't help wondering if caffeine would be as bad for bees as is for spiders
. If so, the novelty honey business is probably not the way to go.