Earthbound Honey: organic beekeepers

  • Karlene and Terry Shaw-Toomey keep bees organically on Auckland’s West Coast.
  • They walk the fine line between the destruction caused by the varroa mite and the rewards of producing manuka honey with high “activity” or antibacterial properties.
  • Check out their website for stockists of their honey.
  • By Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, beekeeper, pacificist, writer and philosopher) in ‘War and Peace’ (First Epilogue, Chapter 1)…”A bee settling on a flower has stung a child. And the child is afraid of bees and declares that bees exist to sting people. A poet admires the bee sucking from the chalice of a flower, and says it exists to suck the fragrance of flowers. A bee-keeper, seeing the bee collect pollen from flowers and carry it to the hive, says that it exists to gather honey. Another bee-keeper who has studied the life of the hive more closely, says that the bee gathers pollen-dust to feed the young bees and rear a queen, and that it exists to perpetuate its race. A botanist notices that the bee flying with the pollen of a male flower to a pistil fertilises the latter, and sees in this the purpose of the bees existence. Another, observing the migration of plants, notices that the bee helps in this work, and may say that in this lies the purpose of the bee. But the ultimate purpose of the bee is not exhausted by the first, the second, or any of the processes the human mind can discern. The higher the human intellect rises in the discovery of these purposes, the more obvious it becomes that the ultimate purpose is beyond our comprehension. All that is accessible to man is the relation of the life of the bee to other manifestations of life.”


Camera: Davian Lorson
Editor: Thomas Asche