The Ultimate Valentine

Honey hearts.

I know, beekeepers usually are not sentimental. For most of us, Saint Valentine was some mythical character built upon Lupercalia, an occasion observed by the Romans for three days (February 13–15) each year, and intimately connected to fertility. Like many Roman customs Lupercalia was borrowed by a start-up church in Rome almost 2,000 years ago. They used the holiday to remember a sainted martyr named Valentino who would grow a new heart every night and give his old heart to anyone who was sick, feeble, or heartless. Or maybe those were chocolate hearts for some favourite pigsneys. Anyway, that’s about all most beekeepers know about Valentine’s Day. But at least one beekeeper – someone whom I shall probably never meet – employed enormous energy and talent to make the really cool heart-shaped comb in today’s picture. I ran across it on a Polish language bee-talk forum where members were showing various comb-honey gadgets. I couldn’t understand very much of what I read on that site, but the pictures are great. (I have grandparents from Slavic countries and I studied Russian at university, but the Polish language is many degrees above my abilities.) If you have seen these heart-combs before or know the person who makes them, please drop me a note so I can credit the appropriate craftsman. Until then, maybe you can make a few of these yourself. You know, just before taking your special honey out to dinner.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This entry was posted in Comb Honey, History, Hives and Combs and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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