Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Return of the Queen

This Sunday found Matt and I at the Logan Square Kitchen, watching a documentary on colony collapse disorder to benefit the Chicago Honey Co-op. Yes, it was my idea, although Matt seemed happy enough to go along with it. I find him hard to read, so I'm never quite sure how much of his seeming contentedness is sprung from genuine interest or a desire to make me happy.

But enough about him--this was about the bees! Ever since I spent a summer studying nutrient paths through garden ecosystems I've been interested in bees and their kinfolk. I looked into it a couple years ago and found that it's actually legal to keep bees in a lot of major cities--including Chi-town. In fact, they keep hives on the roof of city hall. Back then I lacked either the funds or the free time to do anything about it, but now that I'm a big-time, big-city business woman, I think I would like to spend some of my leisure resources on agriculture.

The movie was shown at the Logan Square Kitchen. It was a snazzy little event space; I wish I had thought to take more pictures. I had a chance to meet the owner, Zina, and thought she was nice enough. Matthias Merges of Yusho and Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe whipped together some snacks for the weekend. I'm guessing this all took place on Friday because the time I took a bite of my bee cookie it was kind of stale (although still adorable).

Matt's tapioca "nachos" were better.

The movie itself was very interesting. It went over a lot of the history about bees, mostly focusing on the recent outbreaks of colony collapse disorder in the United States. It's been a few years since the outbreaks started and scientific research has pretty much narrowed it down to the use of systemic pesticides in farming. The bees feed on plants that have been sprayed with these pesticides, then bring them back to the hives where they infect the other bees and cause long-term compromising of bee immune systems.

A few of the "experts" the documentary interviewed were not very impressive--like some hippie Greek scholar saying that CCD is nature's way of telling us we need to re-embrace the mother-goddess. But they also had Michael Pollen, author of In Defense of Food, who always has interesting and insightful things to say, so in the end it was hit-or-miss.

I got the feeling the representative from the co-op leaned more towards the hippie-dippie side of things, so I'm going to do some outside reading before I commit to anything.

1 comment:

  1. Update on the Logan Square Kitchen: something I forgot to mention before (or perhaps just didn't know) is that it was a shared kitchen as well as an event space. 'Was' because it recently its owner Zina Murray closed it down "in the face of what she sees as ongoing city harassment with no visible end in sight" (quote from Grubstreet). I'm sorry to hear that...it was a beautiful space and if they took the same care with their kitchens as they did with the public space then I'm sure there was no valid reason for harassment. It feels like the issues with Chicago and food trucks/shared kitchens might be coming to a head...part of me hopes that the case, for at this point a drastic change in the point of view of our politicians is needed before we can hope for these barriers to entry into business are taken down.