To Bee Or Not To Bee: That Is The Question For Nancy Leson

Jul 30, 2014

Nancy Leson's got a brand new bag, and it's full of bees.

In a recent Seattle Times piece about backyard beekeeping, she expressed interest in keeping bees in her backyard. In this week's "Food for Thought" I suggested that she leave them where they always were — in her bonnet. Ms. Leson begged to differ.

After all, think of the honey. "So if you're keeping bees," I asked her, "How much you figure you're gonna pay for a pound of honey?"

Quoting her bee advisor Larry Brainard, Nancy said, "Larry told me that it cost him about $37 a pound." I'd have a hard time making that one pencil out, but as Nancy so rightly observes, "You're not in it for the money, honey; you're in it for the fun."

Fun, maybe, but it's a big responsibility. And you can't even count on the ungrateful little buzzers to do the deed for your plants. 

"One thing I always thought was if I had bees in my garden my garden would be pollinated," she told me. But no. "The bees that live by you go miles away to get the nectar," she said.

Reminds me of Don Corleone's line to son Michael on his highly-decorated return from WWII: "What miracles you work for strangers."

"The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams."

– Henry David Thoreau