Pleasure Hunting by Ronit Vered - Boutique Apiary


Boutique Apiary                                                                        

From: Haaretz Magazine Nov. 13, 2009                                                           

Thirty years ago, David Alin (originally Allingham, a name that goes well with his trim British mustache) arrived on the Golan, and he stayed there to keep bees. He gathers the wildflower honey that is the        consensual choice of connoisseurs from hives, scattered all over the southern and central Golan Heights. In the summer, the honey that comes from the nectar of thistles and other weeds is light, with a pleasant          flowery scent. In summer, the honey has a dark, amber color and a heavy, intoxicating aroma. The Druse, who know a thing or three about good honey and who come to buy David's product, say they can taste the traces of wild thyme and other herbs in it.                                                                                                      

There's also honey with propolis, the resinous mixture that bees collect from tree sap to seal their hives, and which some say has medicinal properties; it has a surprisingly delicate taste. Other items on sale include      pollen grains, colorful flower stamens, natural cosmetic products, and sweet honeycombs. The latter, rivers of delight locked into beeswax, are enjoyed by the Druse as a hot winter drink after being cooked in milk. We prefer to squeeze this natural marmalade, letting the sticky sweetness drip onto our eager fingers, and suck it up with gusto; it still rivals any man-made sweetmeat.                                                                                   

David is one of the few boutique apiarists marketing honey under his own name. his products can be found in delis and winery outlets across the north, but if you go to his modest home factory you'll get explanations on this world of the beekeeper and the bee, as well a chance to see a small collection of honey from all over the world. There are samples from Japan, bottled in what looks like expensive perfume flask; from                Kyrgyzstan, Sicily, Korea, chestnut flower honey from France, and some from Greece, a nation that is            particularly proud of the product of its bees.