Alfonso, our gardener and brother-from-another-mother, is a legend. As a Rasta and natural healer, his love for nature and respect for natural remedies (especially the green leaf) is immense. From the skin-healing power of the ‘baboon bum’ mushroom (spores from a stemmed pufball mushroom), to fresh buchu tea (that does smell like cat pee) and the benefits of fish gall bile squirted directly in the eye for cataracts, you name it! I keep trying to convince him that he needs to write a book about what he knows. Maybe one day Alfonso, with my help, will have his African remedies book on Amazon. You can only hope!
We also call him the ‘bee whisperer’. He has a passion for bees. He just loves them, and that is that. Over time we have been setting up bee hives in the garden, primarily to help him with his bee business and also because having bee hives on your property is so darn awesome. One day he got word from a neighbour that a hive had split and was hanging off a branch, ready to be moved. Off he went with a sack and back he came with a bag of bees. The only problem was that he had a few holes in the front of his pants, wore no protective gear and did not use smoke, which he avoids if possible as he does not want to harm them. He took quite a few for the team that day, if you catch my drift.
We (read Alfonso) recently harvested the latest batch of honey. What an absolute delight! To taste honey made by those clever little bees on your own property is something incredibly special. We had to get muslin cloth to filter the honey from the bits of comb and alas a few bee bodies. I have a big jar full of comb waiting to be transformed into a lump of bees wax. That is serious homesteading ambition let me tell you.
I feel bad for taking the bees’ honey. They just work and work and work, and we remove. Yet hopefully in providing them homes and plenty of wonderful flowers, we have contributed in our little way to the honey pot. I am so grateful for them. Without bees we would be hungry humans in a desolate world.