The State of Many Things Blog

IMGP0871.jpg 0

The Star Walker and The Tree Shepherd

The Tree Shepherd was quietly minding his own business, arranging a few stands of alder, throwing sycamore seeds about and trying to find the best place for a hornbeam, when he heard a voice...

IMGP0871.jpg 0

Gaspar’s Tale

Gaspar lived in Tharsis. Today, Tharsis is a small town in Spain, with a few mines, a wind-farm and a pretty little church surrounded by palm trees, but in Gaspar’s time, over two thousand...

Cost of Living 1750 - 2000 0

The Price of Honey

At this time of year, on the darkening cusp of autumn,  beekeepers tend to ponder what they have achieved during the year, totting up the benefits that nature has so generously provided and wondering...

IMGP0871.jpg 0

Standards and Definitions – Part II

Within the European Economic Community, the predecessor of today’s EU, the question of what honey was settled in 1974, when the various definitions (or lack of them) that existed in the nine member nations...

IMGP0871.jpg 0

Standards and Definitions – Part I

You may never have heard of Bertha Cardona who, in January 2011 bought a jar of HoneyTree’s Market Pantry Honey, for around $3, from a Target store in Redlands, California. She took good care...

kIMGP0067.jpg 0

The Lesson from the Hive

Of all the people making a living from climate change, George Monbiot is one of the better known. Like many in the fundraising sector, however, he is hired as much for his heart as...

IMGP0492.jpg 0

Hermann Hesse – Steps

I’ve been trying to translate some poetry. This time, it’s Hermann Hesse’s ‘Stufe’, which means ‘steps’ or ‘phases’ or ‘stages’. ‘Steps’ is the usual English title, and makes the most sense as, in English,...

IMGP1183.jpg 0

The Politics of Beekeeping

“What is your opinion about colony collapse disorder, and what is Monsanto’s role in it?”  I was asked this, or something very like it, repeatedly one morning last month, as I impostered behind the...

P1010321.jpg 0

Is Honey Good for Bees?

Not all flowers give up their nectar graciously. Some of them include doses of poisons. Nicotine and caffeine, for example, are both insecticides, but can be found in the nectar of some plants. Thymol...

P1010064.jpg 0

Stings and Reactions

There’s a lot been written about sting reactions, and whether we should take antihistamines before beekeeping, carry adrenalin-injecting epipens or undertake desensitization treatment. This all looks frightening and bothersome, so I’ve been thinking about...