The honey's just better over there
We went to my father's farm on Friday. Spring is here. The flowers are in in full bloom. Gaza has a little more color to it, and for just a few weeks, the gritty, grey horizon of unfinished cinderblocks is disrupted. Purple tree-flowers burst into full blossom on the city streets and the Jundi Park's Hibiscus bushes are enflamed in vibrant reds.
Its also the best time to get some local honey-the good stuff, not the ones where the bees' diet is supplemented with sugar. As things go here, honey is expensive; at least 50-70 shekels a kilo depending on quality.
So my mother's friend and I strike up a converation about honey. She tells me about her friend who is in debt after her bees gathered pollen from their neibhour's farm, newly treated with pesticides for the spring.
They dropped like, well, bees, and half her hive was gone just like that. "The poor thing was crying on the phone. It was a project she'd started with a micro-loan from the Ministry of Agriculture."
"But anyway, the honey is better near the border," she adds.
"Near the border?" I inquire.
"Yes, you know, the Imsaddar household. Their farms are near the border with Israel, in eastern Gaza....their bees fly across the border and gather pollen from the Kenya trees and Orange groves in their farms. So the honey is just better."
How is it that honey from bees gathering pollen from trees across the border is better? Is it because the flowers are freer? Less empty or trapped or sad? Less occupied, perhaps?
"I think they just have more trees and flowers there. After all, most of our groves were razed during the Intifada," explained a friend.