Assignment: Fiddle & Stone Bakery
The Location: Rural Boone County
I had a nice surprise while photographing Chris Foley making bread in his wood-fired oven near a garden in rural Boone County. There was an active hive of bees nearby.
When I was growing up, my dad raised a few hives of honeybees in the woods behind our house. During that time, I learned a lot about bees while I helped tend to them. I even witnessed several swarms as we tried to collect and re-hive them.
A swarm is a fascinating and slightly terrifying thing to see up close. Swarming bees rarely sting so it was kind of a quest to see if I could find the queen.
The best part of that entire bee experience was harvesting honeycomb. There is something really special about eating honey straight from the hive. I remember the honey being darker than what we would get from the store and having a richer flavor. Of course, when you eat fresh honeycomb, you stumble across a dead bee or two in the comb. For me, that just made the experience more unique.
It’s been several decades since those bee raising days and people are now realizing the importance of bees for pollination, not just honey production.
The pollination is important, but the honey will always be my favorite part, dead bees and all.