I absolutely love honey - on toast, with my cereal, for baking and let's face it, straight out of the jar. But I've never thought about all those bees making the honey for me to eat or about the important role that bees play pollinating fruits and flowers as they buzz around collecting nectar.
What a surprise to find out that an organisation called Bee One Third has set up a whole network of rooftop bee hives around the Brisbane city to produce honey and provide a place for the all important bees to live. Best of all, there are plenty of ways for you and me to eat this honey and even to see the hives.
It's amazing what can be going on above our heads. My first clue to this rooftop community was when I noticed that Scrumptious Reads in James Street, Fortitude Valley sold some locally made honey. After some investigation I've found out that there is a whole community of bee lovers and honey appreciators around James Street. The hives themselves are actually on a roof nearby. A number of businesses in the area now sell or use the honey, including Gerard's Bistro and Tinderbox bar.
The hives on the rooftops of James St. Photo: Bee One Third.
I found this such an interesting community that I was keen to find out more. According to Bee One Third's website, bees are vital to healthy ecosystems. Bee pollinate flowers and fruits up to 5 kilometres from the hive. The hive at James St was first set up in November 2012 using recycled materials and now has a whopping 180 000 bees living there and producing honey.
[ADVERT]There a number of ways you can get in on this - all of which culminate in eating this sweet local product!
Rooftop Hive Tours can be booked through The Edge Restaurant, South Bank. The next tour is on 27 March and it involves visiting the hives, trying the honey and seeing how the honey is used in Gerard's Bistro. There is also mention of a honey cocktail, which sounds delicious.
If you want to take your honey appreciation to the next level, try a Cooking with Honey Masterclass, also through Edge Restaurant. It will be held on 29 March and you'll make a dessert using honey actually harvested from the rooftop.
Talk about local eating - if only I hadn't dripped this sweet, sticky stuff all over the keyboard.