Strangely warm weather continues, and although it’s very pleasant indeed it can only be a matter of time before the inevitable change occurs, unleashing nature’s pent-up fury. Hubby made his way to the upper village this morning to run errands, but I chose to stay home, wandering around the garden that will all too soon be storm-lashed and dejected.
The humming and the thrumming of bees – these are wild and not belonging to any beekeeper – competed with the raucous screeching of the gulls overhead in a frenzied buzz. Do bees sense that this is an exceptional time? Are they somehow aware of this extended period in which to gather food? By now there’d usually be at least some snow on the mountain, while the bees would be hunkered down in their hives, deep in the forest.
My thoughts turned to honey. Honey was long known to the ancients, who greatly appreciated it, singing its praises in story and verse. The Pelion region produces honey which can only be described in that overused phrase: fit for the gods. We have never tasted anything like it anywhere. Ever.
The beekeepers can be seen through the warm months, as busy as their bees, moving the wooden hives about the countryside, up the mountain, near to ancient springs, deep into valleys and fields dense with native plants. It’s the variety of pollen the bees feed on from the hundreds of different wild flowers, the heathers, the fruit trees, that give the honey its unique taste and texture. Infused with a myriad of flavours, the golden liquid is so thick you can scarcely pour it.
My various furry companions heard the returning car before I did, darting off to welcome Ron home and check on what might be forthcoming.
He too had been busy. “Look, I got quite a few jars of honey from Stathis to see us through the winter.” Serious winter’s still a way off (I hope) and I’m not sure that much of Stathis’s delicious honey will last that long. He’d also brought bread, still warm from the bakery, thick with grains and seeds. Now that’s definitely not going to last!
And yes, the glorious weather is also about to end – the forecast is for a significant change to sweep in overnight. Wind and rain, thunder and lightning – all the weather gods will be doing their bit in this performance. Our bees will be glad of the food stocks they’ve so carefully stored in their hives.