January 9, 2015

Theo loves the hazelnut spread from the delectable Belgian bakery Le Pain Quotidien, and because he’s not the most adventurous eater, for about a year the only thing he would eat for lunch at school were hazelnut spread sandwiches. So, I bought a lot of the stuff and kept the jars because, of course, they might come in handy for something – again, the eco-clutter. I have filled 20 or so jars with nuts, dried fruit and other goodies in the kitchen cabinet (see, they are useful!), but another 6 empty jars were sitting there too, occupying prime kitchen real estate.

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Today, I found a sweet giveaway for them, quite literally. Our friends Erika and George, both librarians who challenge the stereotype of their profession with their boisterous story-telling and loud, hearty laughter, keep a beehive in their backyard in Pasadena, and did so years ago when they lived in Australia. Judging by the tales they have shared with us, beekeeping is not an activity for the faint hearted. On one occasion in Australia, a hive they were transporting across town broke apart sending its angry occupants buzzing wildly inside the car while George was driving. Another time, their hive yielded more than 150 lbs (70 kgs) of honey, more than they could easily give away. Last year, they suffered the heartbreak of losing a whole swarm when the queen decided to abandon the hive. To survive the drama and emotional rollercoaster of beekeeping, you need patience, a thick skin, a strong sense of humor, and friends to share the honey and the stories with, all of which they have in abundance. You also need a lot of jars. A new swarm has apparently just moved in, so I’ll hopefully see one of those jars again soon…

2 thoughts on “January 9, 2015

  1. “You also need a lot of jars.” My, my ain’t that the truth! Do the math — how many 6 oz jars are needed to give away 150 lbs of honey? Again, give to others. It’s so fun despite being a bit of a trudge one way or another. Keep it up Meher! Oh, and despite having hives that are no where near as productive, thanks for the jars!

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  2. George and Erika are stalwart volunteers at our Friends of the Silver Lake Library used book sales, largely because of their friendship with our Chairperson, Michael St Onge(fellow librarian) and his husband Leonardo(fellow beekeeper). Another broadening of our circles, Meher. All great citizens of our community.

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