bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Celebrity beekeeper 1 — Paul Theroux

In this age of celebrity, I thought Propolis should join in. I've already written of the British politician Tam Dalyell and the first man to climb Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary. Here's another famous beekeeper:

Paul Theroux, sometimes described as an anti-travel writer, is now a beekeeper in Hawaii:

Here on Oahu, Theroux pursues one of his greatest passions: not writing, but keeping bees. He has more than two million of them. His eighty hives contain approximately thirty thousand bees each. This allows Theroux to run the business he started four years ago: producing Oceania Ranch Pure Hawaiian Honey.

“I got the idea from Sherlock Holmes,” Theroux says. “When he retired from being a detective, Watson visits him in Sussex and says, ‘What are you doing here?’ ‘This is the fruit of my life, how I am going to spend the rest of my life,’ Holmes says. My father used to read Sherlock Holmes a lot and it was influential...I always had that in my mind, [to] be a bee keeper.”
Like many of us he got sucked in:
I got a couple of hives. There was an elderly man nearby who taught me how to operate a hive, you know, how to do it. It's pretty simple. Bees ... do the work themselves. And pretty soon, I had two hives, then four hives, then sixteen hives, then you know, you have lots of hives in a very short time because the bees are prolific.
He says he sells his whole crop to Ellen Wong's gourmet restaurant in Honolulu.


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