Busy little bumble bee, buzzing to and fro. Every where he visits, he’s bringing pollen as he goes. The happy little flowers, nod and say thank you, as he helps them grow underneath the skies of blue. He’s so cute, fuzzy, and fat. That’s only part of what makes the news about the collapse of beehives so alarming. The hum of these little guys is a part of the song of summer, but the job is so important that farmers everywhere are distressed to find entire populations of bees disappearing without a trace.
Recent studies show that it’s possible these bees are being killed off by harmful pesticides used on some large-scale Big Ag farmers. So, as you’re gearing up for your Valentine’s Day celebrations, perhaps you should consider some foods that will not only romance your sweetie pie, but also help keep these little guys thrive.
The first, and perhaps most obvious choice is to track down some Mademoiselle Miel bon bons. Made from an exquisite dark chocolate wrapped around honey, these divine delights are impossible not to fall in love with. The honey is gathered from local, urban bees. (I picture them rocking out to Pharrell as they fly through downtown Minneapolis.)
Now, most people think of going out to eat as the most romantic way to spend a date, but I think that a far better way to connect (on a crazy Friday night) is to cozy up over a cup of coffee. One of my favorite coffee bars is the narrow, brick-walled Bull Run Coffee Bar on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis. This Friday night I would order a Cafe Miel, with their rich espresso, creamy local milk, a hint of spice and a thin golden ribbon of honey they get from a purveyor out of Little Falls. Toasty coffee and long conversations are perfect for romance.
However, my favorite way to show my love is to cook for someone. Ever notice how a sliced tomato can look like a heart? Why not throw together a plate of fresh-sliced, local tomatoes, drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and a little sprinkle of coarse salt? It’s a dish that is so easy to pair and screams romance. But what does it have to do with bees, you ask? Well, Bushel Boy tomatoes are grown in Owatonna, Minnesota by people who understand the power of these little pollinators. They do what they can to keep them happy and healthy, so they can do their important jobs.
Romance is certainly buzzing in the air.