Friday, July 18, 2008

Mendocino Queen


Mendocino Queen Honey Company offers their Willits made product with these words:
Mendocino Queen is committed to sustainable apiculture. We do not treat our hives with pesticides and we are breeding our queen bees in order to help the bees select their own way out of their present dependency on chemical treatments. Our honey is always raw and the flavor reflects the diverse array of flora in the Willits valley.
I wonder if they really have a solution to the mysterious hive collapse problems we hear about across the country. I'm always pleased to see so many honey bees on the flowers in my garden, so maybe I'm contributing to this local enterprise. In winter, they enjoy the rosemary blooms; in spring, the Lamb's Ear; in summer, the oregano and thyme flowers; and in autumn, the Chaste Tree flowers.

22 comments:

Meead S. said...

Honey! It looks delicious and sweet.

Last year I read a paper about immigration of bees in the US. I remember it said that a specific type of bees in California move to Idaho in summer, then they came back to California in winter.

Mo said...

Fancy some of that honey on my toast this morning.

ft. lauderdale daily photo said...

Craving anything with honey in it or on it right about now!

Jim said...

Honey always seems to taste so much better when bought from a local company.

Halcyon said...

I love raw honey. I work with a guy who is a part-time apicultor and he keeps us in good supply.

Knoxville Girl said...

We get sourwood honey here in TN from local farms - it has a very distinctive flavor, not as sweet as clover honey.
I don't see many honeybees, but then I am citified.

marlow said...

bees are one of the most magic living forms on this earth, i watch them and im always fascinating...

Abraham Lincoln said...

If people do not know what all this means then they should educate themselves. This is the kind of honey we should all buy.

And no doubts about it. You can be proud and stand tall if your flowers are not sprayed with chemicals of any kind.

I just wanted to say, I read your comments with interest and am glad that you seem to enjoy what I post. Thank you.

Abraham Lincoln
—Brookville Daily Photo.

Dina said...

A sweet picture it is. Glad your garden is always abuzz.

Kim said...

Elaine, I love the light you've captured in today's photo. So beautiful. The honey glows. Our friend that we bought our house from kept bee hives in the back yard, so now I know why we have two types of rosemary and some other herbs planted in the garden and lots of wild flowers. Of course I haven't seen a honey bee in over a year, but the bumbley bees seem to like it all.
-Kim
Seattle Daily Photo

Petrea said...

Very pretty shot. And thank you, now I know what to plant near my rosemary.

USelaine said...

Meead - I wonder if those were "wild" bees, or domestic honey bees. The honey bees originally came from Europe, and are used in industrial agriculture with portable hives. It's my understanding that they get moved all over the place in trucks. We also have native wild bees in all sorts of sizes and shapes, and I get both in my garden.

My mom lives out in the forests and meadows away from towns and villages. When I lived there for a while, I planted an herb whose pot label said it was "spicy oregano". the following year, when it flowered, I could not believe many insects it attracted. My mom later planted it in the ground, and it grew larger. I've seen those flowers covered with dozens of types of wild bees, honey bees, five kinds of butterflies, winged bugs of all sorts - all just teeming over the tiny, tiny flowers of that oregano. The one in my garden only gets a quarter of that action. 8^)

USelaine said...

Mo, FL, Jim - I'm glad to inspire!

Halcyon, KG - It's so satisfying to get local food, and yours both sound interesting.

Marlow - I know what you mean. I was afraid of them as a child, but I've never been stung, and I try not to bother them. They are pretty tame. I read somewhere recently that honey bees attack black garments more than light colors. Apparently it reminds them of ancestral bear attacks.

Abraham - I never spray anything but water on my plants. I don't even give them fertilizer. Thank you so much for commenting too.

Dina - May the bees everywhere continue in good health.

Kim - I get bumblebees a lot too. Some weeks, they're the only ones around, and they particularly like the honeysuckle arch. They'll be back later for the Chaste Tree as well.

Petrea - I think all the plants I mentioned are drought/neglect tolerant too, once they get their roots established. Give them a year of monitored watering, and they should be all right after that. The thyme and oregano make fun additions to fish poaching liquid too. 8^)

Chuck Pefley said...

Elaine, I must echo Kim's remark about the light in this photo. Very appealing ... could easily be in a catalog.

Apologies for not having visited in awhile. Summer is a very very busy time for me.

USelaine said...

Chuck - Both you and Kim are very kind, and it's high praise indeed coming from such experienced photographers. Our Farmer's Market is held in the late afternoon (3-6), and the sunlight filters down through the high tree canopy at a beautiful angle, so I just had to push the button. They made a great choice of draping cloth, I thought.

I know that both of you Seattle bloggers have much to do these days, for separate reasons, and I'm grateful that you took time to visit me here. My best wishes to Puget Sound.

Kelly said...

I have to agree with the experts that have already logged in! The light is fantastic! I buy raw honey locally too, and it is so good.

jill said...

It is indeed a lovely shot Elaine. I would imagine that honey made after a visit to oregano plants might have a very distinctive taste.

Knoxville Girl -- Oh I haven't had sourwood honey since moving out west from Ohio 30 years ago. That is the best tasting honey in the world, well the best I've ever had.

USelaine said...

Kelly and Jill - Thank you! I would guess that the bees in Willits visit so many different kinds of flowers, that no one flavor dominates.

Louis la Vache said...

It is interesting to "Louis" how honey can take on so many subtle flavors. In Paris, near Fauchon at Madeleine is a store that sells nothing but honey and honey-related products. Did you try the honey produced by the bees living in L'opéra Garnier? You can buy it in the gift shop there.

Tall Gary said...

I read somewhere about how the "honey-bee industry" treats hives by trucking them all over tarnation, barely giving them a breather before more trucking; queens maimed to keep them from swarming; and more horrors of treating them like industrial processes rather than fragile, living, societies. No wonder there is a spate of hive collapse. Shame on the bee industrializers.

I suspect there is little danger of your well-treated local hives suffering such a collapse. The bees swarming around your own plants may offer some hopeful evidence to this effect.

Ming the Merciless said...

I was surprised at the price of honey when I went to the grocery store recently.

I guess the mysterious disappearance of bees are affecting the supply.

USelaine said...

Louis - I have to confess right here and now, I've never been to Paris, or any part of France. It's my dirty little secret. But I endure by consuming local produce, as the French would.

Gary - I'm amazed that the news articles and interviews don't seem to want to illuminate those industrial details. So they keep looking for "viruses", etc.

Ming - It could be. I actually don't use a lot of honey, so all I need I can afford to buy from the local producers.