Earlier this week, a large amount of produce started accumulating in the fridge: carrots, celery, potatoes, onions... the key ingredients to a good soup. I knew this meant only one thing - send out a last minute invite to neighborhood friends to enjoy an impromptu summer feast.
One of my favorite vegetable soups is soupe au pistou - a Provencal soup from France. I always grew up eating minestrone soup and this is similar except for the flavorful addition of a basil pistou (similar to a pesto). It has been a awhile since I've made this soup and it is my favorite summer meal for cleaning out the fridge.
While I was starting the prep the ingredients for our casual dinner party, Kyle came home in a flurry of excitement, "We're getting BEES." Yes, that is right. We entertained the idea of getting bees. Although I thought it was somewhat of a joke or a day dream - I mean we already have chickens in the city, do we really need more 'livestock'?
Kyle found out earlier that day that about a honey bee hive in the neighborhood that needed to be moved and connected with a beekeeping mentor (there is such as thing) neighbor that was going to assist Kyle in the hive rescue. While he waited for the mentor to stop by our house, I suggested we research what we were getting into. It is a normal Palaniuk trait to dive headfirst into the unknown with absolutely no preparation. I sat on the couch as Kyle read aloud from our favorite urban homestead book:
Bees are livestock that make a lot of sense in the city. They are silent, odorless, and take up so little space they can be kept on an apartment balcony. Yet they are an ancient symbol of productivity for good reason - one hive can produce 50 pounds of honey or more per year. That's enough to not only provide honey for your table - and your friends' tables - but also to make a nice batch of homemade mead. In addition to honey, your industrious bees will also give you beeswax and propolis. And of course, their pollination services are invaluable to all of us.
Sounds pretty positive. I mean, why not have bees?
Kyle went off to rescue a bee hive while I tended to normal Granada House pastimes such as feeding our chickens some delicious cooking scraps...
... and admiring my freshly painted toes on the newly laid brick garden path...
Kyle returned home from the bee rescue just as I had laid food out on the table and guests were arriving. When you rescue bee hives, you leave them in their new bee house overnight at the original location before you move them to the new place.
Kyle excitedly told our friends about the experience along with several video clips of the bee rescue. The dinner evolved from impromptu dinner party to a dedicated Beekeeper Dinner.
Here is Kyle bringing our bees home the following day:
Granada House farm continues to expand... you better bee-lieve it!
(details on bee rescue coming soon)