As the first of our crocuses begin to pop their bright purple heads up from beneath the frozen ground, I spotted honeybees dancing around them. This worker bee in the photo was covered with bright orange pollen and as I watched her sipping nectar to bring back to her hive. Finally, spring has arrived but not without a fight. Here in Connecticut we were slapped with over a foot of snow on March 2nd and tomorrow will be April 1st- the ground is still frozen but the sun is shining. It was a long, bitter winter here and I have been in my own self imposed hibernation, reading and writing but not blogging-apologies.
I did manage to escape for a week with my honey to the deserts of Arizona and we hunted around for beekeepers and native honeys. There I discovered prickily pear and saguaro, two types of cactus honey and something called cats claw. Cats claw is an herb and it's honey is delicious with flavors of the desert. Catcus honeys are exotic and fruity. You must try them when you visit Arizona. These plants are unique to the desert and the bees are all over them. I was treated to an unexpected honey tasting by an artist who lives off-the-grid in a remote part of the desert. I had the pleasure to taste their local Rodeo honey which is a rare brand to find since the beekeeper has retired. Needless to say, I brought back one suitcase dedicated to just desert honeys.
The rest of the winter was spent researching and writing for my upcoming book where I share my experiences as a hobbyist beekeeper and my love of honey. Due to be released on September 1st stay tuned for details.
Red Bee ® has many events planned for this year, our favorites are presenting honey tastings at fundraisers for Share Our Strength which raises money for Childhood hunger. We will be returning to our local farmers markets and even hosting some events here at our apiary. Check our events page on our web site for details. www.redbee.com
Happy Spring-Beekeeping season has finally begun!
Camembert Grape Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
- Makes 4 servings -
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
- 3/4 lb. seedless grapes
- 3/4 lb. sliced fresh figs, apricots, plums or nectarines
- 4 oz. camembert or brie cheese, cut into narrow wedges
- 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted
- 2 quarts salad greens