Parting Shot

Story Birney Imes

HONEST HONEY — There is a belief among beekeepers that the beekeeper doesn’t choose the bees; the bees choose the beekeeper. Sometime back in the 1980s, the bees chose Buck Hildreth. He sold the honey his bees produced from an “honest box” in front of his house on Hildreth Road off Highway 69 in east Lowndes County. When we stopped by in December, the 90-year-old beekeeper told us health reasons were forcing him to give up the pastime about which he said, “I enjoyed every minute of it.” While Hildreth may give up beekeeping, he has no plans to quit eating honey. He said he eats it every day — on toast, biscuits, even vanilla ice cream. About the honey-topped ice cream, the normally taciturn Hildreth becomes effusive. “Man,” he said, “it’s finger-licking good.”