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‘Honey sommelier’ to talk about becoming a beekeeper

By Staff | Jan 21, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Marina Marchese at work in her apiary.

A self-proclaimed “honey sommelier,” C. Marina Marchese was first to create a language and scale for honey flavors and has written books on beekeeping and honey. On Jan. 31, she will present two free programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel.

Based on her book “Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper” and other bee-related works, the programs are part of the “Ding” Darling Lecture Series. Marchese also wrote “The Honey Connoisseur” and consults throughout the culinary and apiculture realms.

Ten years ago, Marchese fell in love with bees during a tour of a neighbor’s honeybee hives. Surprised to find that allowing docile honeybees to crawl across her hands instilled a serene tranquility and comfort, Marchese quit her job, acquired her own bees, built her own hives, harvested honey, earned a certificate in apitherapy, studied wine tasting to transfer those skills to honey tasting, and eventually opened her own business.

Following her lectures, Marchese will sign copies of her books, which are available at the Refuge Nature Store. Sales from the store benefit conservation and education programs at the refuge.

HighTower/Thomas & Swartz Wealth Management and Sanibel Carts co-sponsor the free 12-lecture series with support from the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge. The lectures are held on Fridays at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the admission-free Visitor & Education Center’s auditorium.

BLACK DOG & LEVENTHAL PUBLISHERS “Honeybee: Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper” b C. Marina Marchese.

The remaining schedule, including some book signings, is as follows:

– Feb. 7: Zoo Miami ambassador Ron Magill, “From Butterflies to Lions: A Walk on the Wild Side”

– Feb. 14: Author Cynthia Barnett, “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History”*

– Feb. 21: Author Jeff Klinkenberg, “Alligator in B Flat: Improbable Tales from the Files of Real Florida”*

– Feb 28: Author Craig Pittman, “Cat Tale: The Wild, Weird Battle to Save the Endangered Florida Panther”*

– March 6: Author and photographer Paul Bannick, “The Owl and the Woodpecker: Encounters with North America’s Most Iconic Birds”*

– March 13: Upcycle Designer Nancy Judd, of RecycleRunway.com

– March 20: Author Eliot Kleinberg, “Black Cloud: The Great Hurricane of 1928″*

– March 27: Author Jack Davis, “All About Eagles and Other Florida Eco-Topics”*

– April 3: Jeri Magg, “Remarkable Women of Sanibel & Captiva”*

*book signing to follow

Seating for the lectures is limited and available on a first-come basis. Early arrivals can save their seat and one extra seat with personal items, then they may explore the center or Indigo Trail before the lecture starts. Saved seats must be filled 15 minutes before lecture time or risk being reassigned.

DDWS will film most of the lectures and broadcast them on Facebook Live at www.facebook.com/dingdarling. For more information, call 239-472-1100 ext. 241 or visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/lecture-and-film-series.

The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge is at 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel.