Naturally sweetened by the careful and diligent work of honey bees, honey offers us a peek into the many wonders of our natural world. Flavored with the vibrant taste of lemon blossom, clover, pine or any myriad of flowers, it can be hard to believe that the powerful flavors in assorted honeys derives simply from the bee's preferred pollens or nectars and not from manmade essential oils or additives.
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.
A blanket of pink cascades across the hillside and gently sways in a gust of wind. Carrying the warmth of the Mediterranean and the sweet smell of blossoming Sulla flowers on its wings, the breeze moves through the foothills of Sicily's mountains and to thaw the roots still clutching on to colder days now passed. In a wave of vibrancy, much like the bursting buds of the almond blossom trees, the arrival of wild Sulla flowers signal an awakening of the island's earth as she welcomes the warmer seasons.
Amber, golden, translucent, creamy, sweet, herbal, floral, there is no shortage of adjectives available to describe nature's sweetest, purest candy: honey. For some, honey might just be the delicious bioproduct of the laborious honey bee's life. To others, it can serve as a biological map identifying the health and verdure of an entire ecosystem. For all of us, the stunningly diverse and unique nectar is a gift.