Just as the tulips are a sign of spring in New England, so is the buzzing sound of the honey bees as they pollinate local orchards, crops, and flower gardens. An essential force in the world's food supply, Weston Table's esteemed guest, founder, and director of BEST BEES CO. and the URBAN BEEKEEPING LABORATORY AND BEE SANCTUARY, Noah Wilson-Rich, began his discussion of backyard honey beekeeping. "I would like to encourage you to open your mind: What can you do to save the bees, or to help them, or to think of sustainable cities in the future, or really just change your perspective? The challenges faced by bees today--from habitat loss to pesticides and deadly diseases--threaten not only the bees themselves but potentially all of human life." He certainly captured the attention of all fifty-five gardening enthusiasts listening to him. With a charming and amiable delivery, he quelled myths, answered questions, and shared a hypothesis surrounding colony collapse disorder and the alarming disappearance of honey bees since 2006 (even the bees bodies disappeared it seemed into thin air).

Why should everyone be concerned about honeybee health? Noah explained that, "as major players on the global economic stage, mainly because of their role as pollinators" the yield of the world's fruit and vegetable crops "would decline to less than 10 percent of current levels" if bees disappeared.  I think Noah had us at "Hello." If he didn't, however, his bee authority was cemented when he confessed that he uses two hives on the balcony of his Dorchester apartment as coffee tables and that there is little to fear when it comes to the honey bees stinging: "If you are not a flower, the bees simply do not care about you."   

Noah Rich
The Bee A Natural History

In an hour, Noah asked encouraged guests “to recognize honey bees as so much more than icky bugs, but vitally important creatures who provide us with food and flowers. Value honey bees.” If you missed this event, do take a few moments to be entertained with Noah's TED Talk on why we all need to help save the honey bees.

Following the backyard honey beekeeping discussion, Noah signed copies of his book, THE BEE A NATURAL HISTORY, and tasted for himself Weston Table's honey inspired menu. While he enjoyed FOREST HONEY from Quebec, macarons made with LAVENDER HONEY from Provence, and a TUSCAN KALE SALAD WITH TRUFFLE HONEY, PECORINO & PINE NUTS, his favorite turned out to be the HONEYCOMB BUTTER made from the winter bounty of Weston Table's 50,000 strong backyard beehive slathered on a baguette. To round out the bee-like vegetarian menu, Weston Table served a QUINOA, WATERMELON, KALE & FETA SALAD and a GREEN POTATO SALAD WITH CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE, STRAWBERRY TOMATO GAZPACHO, and an assortment of English-style tea sandwiches made with fresh from the CSA breakfast radish, pea tendrils, mint, and cucumbers.

To introduce Weston Table's marketplace, guests were invited to enjoy a unique shopping experience in the garden. Games, Father's Day gifts, gardening tools, antiques, and linens from around the world offered a glimpse into Weston Table's online experience that asks guests to enter and escape the ordinary. A collection of thoughtfully selected items captivated the attention and curiosity of a mind and body nourished crowd hoping to linger a bit longer in the garden. 

To top off an extraordinary afternoon, STONEGATE GARDENS in Lincoln shared their tips on how to plant pots and attract honey bees with bee friendly flowers. They fielded questions, shared their extensive knowledge on growing trees, shrubs, and flowers in New England, and gave individual tours through the gardens paying close attention to the fifty espalier apple and pear trees, a rustic potager garden, window boxes, and fast growing arborvitae they planted on the property over the past several years. 

For information about how to get your own backyard beehive up and sweetening your life, visit BEST BEES CO., or to find delicious recipes, travel and garden inspiration, or a selection of artisanal home goods and vintage finds, visit WESTON TABLE