Does honey grow on trees?

Lorri Drumm

Have you ever spent what feels like an eternity scouring every shelf in every aisle of the grocery store for one last ingredient for a meal?

If so, what’s your style? Do you just meander calmly until it appears? Do you ask someone who hopefully doesn’t just resemble a store employee?

Or, if you’re like me, do you make that one last ingredient your mission with all the reckless abandon of a honey badger?

The honey badger is the Chuck Norris of the animal kingdom, according to Urban Dictionary. No bigger or faster animal ever gives the honey badger crap. If they did, that animal wouldn’t have the chance to regret it.

When the Tasmanian devil goes to sleep, he checks under his bed for the honey badger.

It just so happens that this honey badger was recently on the hunt for honey.

As I lugged around the hefty basket full of meat, potatoes and vegetables the hunt for honey rivaled the lengths a bear will go to when he gets whiff of a hive.

Bears love honey and are attracted to beehives. Unlike in Winnie the Pooh, bears eat more than just honey. They will also consume the bees and larvae inside the beehive, which are a good source of protein. Both brown and black bears will raid beehives.

Unfortunately, there was no gathering of bears in Aisle 10 to lead me to the nectar that often comes in a bear-shaped container.

My instinct first leads me to the breakfast food section. I associate honey with a type of syrup and cereal, like Honey Bunches of Oats. No honey. Just maple syrup.

I found myself uttering (out loud) every word I could think of that started with honey as a way to figure out where some store clerk might decide to stash it.

Was it with the fruit? Honeydew.

Maybe with the flowers? Honeysuckle.

Mixed in with wedding decor? Honeymoon.

Could it be insect-related? Honeybee. Honeycomb.

How about the bread aisle? Honeybun.

I considered making a beeline for the liquor store as I had a flashback to a hot beverage I had this winter that combined apple cider, whiskey, and honey.

As my frustration grew, and my arm tingled from the heavy basket, I posed the question on social media. I got responses that seemed to vary depending on the location.

A friend from the central area of the state said her local grocery store stocks honey in the baked goods section near vegetable oil. Again, no honey. Just molasses.

A friend in Hawaii said she found it next to the spices. She said she thought “that was weird.” Maybe it is weird because I just found spices.

Then another friend offered a logical response. “It’s next to the tea,” she wrote. That makes sense. I’ve put honey in tea.

That friend came the closest. It was in the same aisle, but across from it next to jams and jellies. Mission accomplished.

My adventure took place in Crawford County but I checked locally and at least one store uses the same rationale and you can find it next to the jellies.

No more honey badger shopping behavior for me. I am now the Queen Bee.

Lorri Drumm was transplanted to both Warren and its newspaper in 2018. Since then, every day has started with visions of Conewango Creek and ended with a little bit more knowledge of the local area. A former reporter from Crawford County, Drumm’s resume includes a 10-week internship at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and an almost fellowship at Marquette University.