In any case, today I went to visit the parents of a friend of mine. I’d wanted to meet them ever since I heard about them because–you guessed it–the father is a beekeeper. He has three large hives, and I thought, “Wow! Seeing hives and getting fresh honey sounds totally awesome.” So I drove around the back streets of Iki and ended up in the right place. I was super lucky because, apparently, the bees decided to build a new hive. So Mr. Bee-Keeper had waited until I visited to begin moving their new hive into the ones he makes. To do this, he took a netting-wrapped basket and sprinkled sugar and shochu (Japanese whiskey) inside. Then he set it on top of this giant soon-to-be nest and, of course, the bees went WILD. They were all, “Why you bothering us,” and “Oh NOS the larva!” and “Mmmm sugar and booze, delish.”
Afterwards, I bought some Japanese honey. According to my esteemed host, Japanese honey is super expensive (I did buy 200ml for about 2000 yen, or $22) because Japanese bees make so little. They create about 1/8 the honey as European bees. However, their honey is about three times as strong. It’s recommended for a tonic to fight off colds (Hot Totties!) and also for deliciousness. I’m crossing my fingers that the loaf of sourdough I’m attempting to make works out.