Honey and Sage Skillet Cornbread and a Visit to Green Goddess Farms in Asheville, North Carolin

Honey and Sage Skillet Cornbread and a Visit to Green Goddess Farms in Asheville, North Carolin

Carl told us that many of the younger farmers in Asheville are getting into beekeeping and they would not dream of treating the bees. It is a good thing that is the case since bees will travel within a three mile radius and then come back to their hives.

This very cool hive was found out in the country.

Since there are literally one hundred beekeepers in the 28806 zip code (in Asheville) and eight of them within a half mile radius from Green Goddess Farm, the hope is that the newer beekeepers are following his no treatment approach since these bees cross pollinate.

According to an article posted in the New York Times just yesterday, “A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem (the loss of bees), according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.

Exactly how that double-whammy kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.”

A North Carolina almond

It will be interesting to see how this new information affects the methods and theories that the Chesicks have going forward.

Since their bees are thriving, Carl and Joan had a banner honey year this year. They had twenty gallons of spring honey, twenty-five gallons of summer honey and five gallons of Sourwood honey. You can find their honey at the West Asheville Tailgate Market or at Joan’s office. She is an audiologist in Asheville.

I know that bee pollen is used for medicinal purposes and that honey is known to have great health benefits. I was not aware of something called propolis or “bee glue”. This is something that the bees collect and use to seal cracks in their hives, among other things. Carl will gather this resin by carefully scraping it from the screens of the hives and then he makes a tincture from the resin. This tincture is known to have numerous healing qualities.

Carl also told us that they are trying to get a honey standard put in place. Honey is a pure varietal, very much like wine. All honeys taste very different and they will be different depending on their origins. The only way to truly confirm the type of honey is to identify the pollen under a microscope and that’s complicated.

Unfortunately, many people are not honest about what they are selling. Honey is becoming very expensive, especially with the loss of so many bees. Sadly, some people are slapping a label on sugar syrup or high fructose corn syrup with food coloring and additives and are calling it honey.

Loofahs – I want some of these babies when they are dried!

Carl said you should be sure to read the entire label on the honey you are about to purchase. You may find that a “Product of the U.S.” can contain ingredients that have been repackaged and actually originate from another country. That is where the trouble begins. Be sure to get your honey from a local source that you can trust. Where’s your honey from?  That is what I want to know.

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