If your social media feed was anything like mine last week on Valentine’s Day, you would have seen numerous posts about St. Valentine - the patron saint of beekeepers. St. Valentine was in charge of sweetening the honey and giving protection to beekeepers, but can he revisit that to do list and add in something about destroying varroa mites?
When I think about bees, I can’t help but to think of romance. The sounds and smells and tastes are seductive and leave me longing for the next infusion of sensory sweetness. But did you know that the greatest love story of all time also has a connection to bees? In this episode I visit with Lois Leveen, a historical novelist who revisited Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet to tell the tale of Juliett’s nurse, and along the way became seduced by bees. I know Lois from the beekeeping community here in Portland and she is the host for the annual honey tasting for Portland Urban Beekeepers. When I saw her a couple months ago I invited her onto the show and she said “we have to do a Valentine’s special!” So, forget all about the red pink mylar heart balloons, and flower bouquets, and chocolate dipped strawberries because in this episode, we get to the real heart of the matter --- BEES.
You can find Lois Leveen and where to purchase her books here.