Thursday, 28 April 2011

Liquid Gold

Liquid gold, the nickname for Winnie the Pooh's favourite spread. Cravings appeased by a sticky dollop of golden caramel hue. Bees and honey, the buzz words very much in the news. Bees in sharp decline, the production of honey may follow suit. Bees important for other reasons too – pollinating crops a major device. One of Mother Nature's helpers, hence the current debate. What should we do to boost their diminished state? Is it still permissible to eat bee products, pleading ignorance to their fate?

I struggle internally with this give-and-take. Honey, bee pollen and royal jelly, natural products bestowed on us by nature, we've indulged in their many uses to take, take, take. Commodities used as trade – an exchange of goods. This is how we operate, so I have to question, is the current decline of bees a trade-off? A human made affair like so many of our ailments? Has the world we lived in changed? Yes to both as far as I'm concerned. Only just waking up to the extent of our sleep-induced state. Science supports a claim that a parasite attacks the honey bee, their numbers decimated. I don't disagree, but ponder aloud our role - is it too late to now correct? Modern farming, the solution proposed. How farms interact with nature, all creatures great and small, the considered tactical move. Farms to make a difference in a positive way. A big hooray. I think farms should have a say – to give something back. Support the land, preserve wildlife and with this their livelihood. With green spaces dissolving more and more, this is a crucial time. We're all part of the ecosystem, our attitudes need to change.

Consuming honey a real concern, but the unwillingness to add it to my sin-bin list persists. Veganism a way off, not yet understanding this denial. Why is honey given the buzz-off? I value honey medicinally, not for its consumptive use. This habit as old as history itself for sore throats, wounds, hay fever, or a pick-me-up, therapeutically applied. Honey, a natural super food. Named after a flower, is this where my dilemma lies? An affinity with the bees, akin to holding a Buttercup under your chin to see if you like butter. Perhaps it's A.A. Milne's fault? Receiving a personalised Pooh book aged three. Me, a character in the story – a friend of Christopher Robin, Pooh and the bees.

Still I feel compelled to ask, is vegetarianism the puzzle in this piece? A link in this chain of liquid gold. The discrepancy in my train of thought... Am I morally obliged to give honey back to the bees?