As I sit here in a tent on a Friday evening in the swamplands of Southern Georgia, husband laying nearby reading by kindle-light, I reminisce on our time at Savannah Bee Company a few days ago. I have always been a fan of bees. Two-thirds of what we eat is owed to these little powerhouses. I had stopped by this shop a few years ago and really enjoyed it. This time I was coming with questions.
We met a wonderful 72 year old man named Henry behind the counter. I have a feeling he would have talked our ears off even if we didn’t barrage him with apiary questions. He told us about every honey we sampled, (Lavender! Black sage! Tupelo! Acacia!) and peppered the information with childhood stories, like his mom getting whipped for going out dancing back in her heyday.
Here are the three most interesting things I learned.
1) Bees have what is called “flower fidelity.” Once they start getting nectar from a certain plant, they will not go to another until that first plant doesn’t have any left. This relates to fun fact #2.
2) “Flavored” honey refers to the plant the bees consume. For example, “lavender” honey doesn’t have any lavender added to it for flavor (as I previously had thought). It means a farmer put their hive near lavender and those bees gathered nectar from that source only. This is why “wildflower honey,” often doesn’t taste as delicious, but is more beneficial for allergies.
3) When we listen to bees buzz, we hear binaural beats. Binaural beats have been known to put people into a meditative, trance-like state. Taking care of bees will actually calm you down. People have also been known to lose track of time because of their meditative nature. Henry said he knows someone who’s wife called him inside after bee-keeping for over two hours, and the man really only thought he was out there for 20 minutes.
So, all this to say, we were so hyped about bees after talking to Henry and trying so many honeys that we had to try their mead.
We tried the six meads below. We both liked them way more than we thought we would.
Meads are really different from each other. Some are carbonated and some aren’t. Some are dry and some are sweet. Some taste like wine, while others might be closer to a cider or digestivo. The lady who helped us at the bar said, “If you don’t like mead it’s because you haven’t found one you like. There’s a mead for everyone.”
We both loved the “Pollen-Nation,” which was similar to a cider but had the tartness of blackberries. It was not too sweet and perfectly carbonated. 10/10 would recommend. The pb&j one was also very bizarre and delicious (Are we mead people now? I was into mead before it was cool…).
I can’t get the idea of a big plot of land with a tiny house out of my head. There’s a brook and a chicken coop (and maybe a goat if Ryan says okay). There are beehives. And maybe we sell honey. And maybe we make mead in our claw-footed bathtub and sell it at our local farmer’s market. I don’t know where this idyllic place is, or if it’s only in my mind. But as I sit in this tent surrounded by Ryan’s soothing snores, I think, it’s always good to have plan bee.