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Our bees are angry and frustrated. The spring has been cool and wet, which has kept the bees inside their hives. What do you do when you are cooped up? Have sex. Yes, bees do do it. The bees have rapidly multiplied, which is good — except the crowd of bees produced multiple queens. The Chinese symbol for discord is two women under the same roof. So one queen and her followers left the hive and swarmed, which means that the bees find a tree branch (or in our case, the roof of the chicken coop) and start to build a new hive with their new queen.

Sometimes, when bees are surly, it’s because they have a bad queen and beekeepers will replace bad queens. So what do bees do when they’re angry? Dive bomb, kamikaze-style, and die while stinging the next available warm body. Bees are attracted to carbon dioxide. Our garden has become a dangerous war zone and we have the welts to show for it. Who really is on top of this food chain?

Our next move is to help out the bees by clearing their flight deck. The brush and trees around the hives are blocking their access to the cherry and apple trees. So we will move the hives out for the tree trimmers (I don’t think that they will want to negotiate with these stingers). We have to move the hives more than two miles away, because if they are closer, the bees will find their way back to their original place and reset up their hive!

Clearly the only response to this battle royale is to eat more honey. Here is a favorite honeyed salad dressing. Yes, our honey (stinging bees not included!) is available at Kitchen Conservatory.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers on Honey Cucumber Salad

shrimp.jpgFor the shrimp:

  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound pitted olives
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2/3 cup dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Skewer the shrimp and olives. Mix together the garlic, red pepper, paprika, sherry, and salt and pepper. While whisking, drizzle in the oil. Pour the sauce over the shrimp and let sit for 30 minutes. Heat a grill on high and cook the shrimp skewers, 30 seconds on each side, turning once. Serve on top of the salad.

For the salad:

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • salt as needed
  • ½ pound feta cheese, preferably sheep’s milk
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Salt the cucumbers and let sit for 15 minutes, and then squeeze dry in a ricer. Whisk together the shallot, lime juice, olive oil, pomegranate, honey, and mint. Arrange the cucumber and feta on a platter and pour over the dressing. Season with pepper. Top with the shrimp skewers.


7 Comments for “Bee-witched, Bee-othered, and Bee-wildered: Grilled Shrimp Skewers on Honey-Cucumber Salad”  

  1. Ruth

    Will you bring the bees back home after the trees are trimmed? Your honey is the best!

  2. Anne

    Yes, the bees will come home again. It’s not my honey; all credit goes to the bees who make it!

  3. Barry

    Granted, I know nothing about bees, but I would take a different approach to this problem. I’d move to a condo!

  4. Anne

    Barry, bees are a necessity. If you want to grow food (our apple and cherry trees, for example), the flowers must be pollinated in order to produce fruit. Honeybees are a wonderful labor source with surprisingly few demands (no 401Ks needed).

  5. Kirsten

    Your bees, ouch! Yikes. Two families in our cul-de-sac became honey bee keepers last weekend. I am very excited for them (and me, because I can learn!) Their queens’ wings have been clipped, and their backs have a white dot (evidently that is to mark what year that queen got her start). Each hive was provided 13,000 bees.

    Where will you move your hives?

  6. Anne

    The bees were moved Thursday night to our beekeeper’s home. In the process of moving, a hive was dropped, and bees spilled out. So we now have a small group of homeless and queenless bees buzzing around. We are not venturing into their territory.

  7. jesteiger

    Favorite recipe – and maybe even the easiest. This is a perfect condiment – Tomato Chutney!! Thank you for the recipe in your class, Barb.