|Stephanie and Emile's backyard hives|
Stephanie showed us around, explained what we were seeing, and talked with us about her passion for bees and honey. In addition to collecting honey from their bees they also collect for an apiarist in the Metro-West region whose business is focused more on his pollination service. Their honey is raw, unpasteurized, and unprocessed. They filter only minimally to maximize retaining all the enzymes, vitamins and minerals in their honey. They harvest twice a year, in summer and in fall, and the honey is dramatically different (as you can imagine) depending on the season because the floral sources are so different.
|Stephanie with one of her backyard hives|
However, it is hard to say what the floral sources actually are. Jamaica Plain is home to a large portion of the Emerald Necklace, a series of connecting parks designed and built by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 19th century. If fact, Jamaica Pond, part of the Emerald Necklace, is a stone's throw away from Stephanie and Emile house. It is a kettle pond- which, according to wiki is a "shallow, sediment-filled body of water formed by retreating glaciers or draining flood waters." It has walking paths, wooden benches looking out over the pond, geese in fall and spring, and a variety of mature trees. Is whatever is growing around Jamaica Pond the source of the honey? Could be, but bees have a range of a few miles and within the catchment area of Stephanie and Emile's bees there are other parks that may tempt them to go farther afield: Olmsted Park, Franklin Park and the Arnold Arboretum, to name the larger ones. Probably safest to say that their honey is "Jamaica Plain whatever" honey.
|A Sampling of Benevolent Bee Products|
|The Benevolent Bee Honey, Jamaica Plain, MA|
A big thank you to Stephanie for inviting us into her home and sharing her passion and expertise of all things bees and honey!