Visiting a friend’s farm this weekend, I took beehive bread to enjoy with their newly harvested honey. It seemed to be a fitting addition to a delicious meal which included roasted vegetables from their garden.
This morning we observed the bees at their hives. They were very active on this crisp, breezy fall day. Our friends explained that this year’s honey is a darker color than last year’s. This may be due to the flora filling in, resulting in the bees collecting a richer variety of nectar and pollen. Before the newly planted flowers were available for food and pollination within a two-mile radius of their hive, my friend had to supplement the bees’ food stores with sugar or bee patties (artificial pollen “treats”). Now that the fields are filled with prairie botanicals, the bees have access to a greater variety of flowers. This enables them to produce a honey with more depth of color and flavor.
In addition to flowers such as goldenrod for the butterflies and bees, the farm also has bird houses and feeders as well as vegetable gardens and orchards, fields of sunflowers, radishes, beets, oats, and turnips. I love how our friends nurture environmental balance with plantings that feed and sustain thousands of creatures, great and small. Many of the plants are considered weeds or may not be chosen for their attractive qualities, yet they play an important part. Our friends’ stewardship of the earth refreshingly encourages me to look at the world in a new way. Friends such as these enrich my life.