Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

Ode to Honey


Category: prose

Honey is a remarkable substance.

When you think that it is made from the juices of flowers, it is even more remarkable. That flowers secret a sugary liquid that encourages insects like bees to swing by and carry pollen from flower to flower to make new flowers. If you put that in human terms, it is as if you had to give out sugar water so that bugs would carry your fluids from you to your breeding partner.

They say it's forty percent levulose which is another name for fructose which is another name for the sugar that you find in fruit. Another thirty-four percent is dextrose, which is a type of glucose and again is a type of sugar. The dextrose should not be confused with the dextrin also found in the substance, sometimes called British Gum, which adds a thickness of its own. With the addition of a few enzymes and nearly eighteen per cent water, you have a fine gooey mess created to feed bee larvae.

As good as honey may be in its somewhat natural state, it finds its highest purpose in sacrifice to feed a fungus. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a hungry little critter and it likes nothing better to sit at the bottom of a container of honey water. Through digestion, the little fungus converts the sugars into carbon dioxide and, more importantly, alcohol.

The liquid remaining when the process is finished is a golden amber color with the smell of cider. The flavor is rich and smooth. The sugar remaining in the solution, along with the concentration of water, helps to prevent the headache of the morning. All that shows up are the deep dreams of running with your ancestors at pivotal times in their history.

Think back to times when your ancestors were primitive. Remember how they lived when life and death were decided by the sword or the club. Imagine running through the tall grasses or the dense forest to face an enemy who encroached on your group's territory. See yourself standing at the end of the day with the rumble of your thunder god shaking your body.

It's true, honey is a remarkable substance.

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