There’s a loud humming that penetrates every one of your senses. The air itself vibrates. With a tight-knit net protecting his face, the beekeeper gently lifts out a sleeve covered in honeycomb and the quivering bodies of many honey bees. He operates with soft and smooth ease. Each move is benign, careful and well-practiced. His peaceful and soothing quality makes the humming of the bees almost rhythmic.
The mysterious world of bees has fascinated our beekeeper Leonardi since childhood. By the age of 12, he’d begun to care for his father’s bee hives perched on the slopes of Monte Etna. With his values and interests deeply tied to his respect for the environment, honey bees offered a window into tangible facets of the natural world. He dedicated his life to nurturing this familial practice, turning his passion for bees into his life’s work in 1984.
Over the almost 40 years that Leonardi has devoted himself to the life of an apiarist, Leonardi has developed a deep understanding of his bees. He carefully breeds and cares for his bees with love and devotion, ensuring that their needs are met and that their health always comes first. Through careful scouting, the hives and their keepers operate in a nomadic fashion, chasing blooms across Sicily and Calabria. As a result, they are able to control the health of their bee population, guide the flavor profiles of their unique and exquisite Italian honeys, and ensure that their honeys are genuinely certified organic.
And while chasing floral blooms through southern Italy might seem romantic and idyllistice, their work is far from simplistic. From the ever present challenges presented by the industrialization of agriculture and the destructive chemicals and biohazards that come with it, to the mounting challenges of climate change, beekeepers like Leonardi and his team are constantly searching for ways to keep their bees alive and well. After all, natural pollinators are the key to maintaining a healthy biodiversity and balanced ecosystem.
Dedicated to their craft, there’s a lot to learn from beekeepers like Leonardi. From a devotion to bees, the land and environment, they spend their life studying patterns in order to both enhance the overall health of their subjects, while simultaneously producing Italian organic honeys that represent its health and terroir through unparalleled flavor.