Heeey, what’s this, honey? Yes, it is. But this one is a little bit different : it’s a free one, it is wild. And it is proportional. But how? I am going to explain it to you: it is proportional to the landscape containing it. The less beauty you see around, the less honey you will have… Try to figure it out, make also an ideal circumnavigation.

Or imagine to be microscopic, resisting astride a drone flying over the island: you can understand that the honey that you wee and that you are about to taste is ver precious. Meanwhile, it is as wild as the bees producing it. Which, look, returned to Ischia. Despite everything.

Prima fotoReally? The good news was in the air - and where else? For some time, just like the sweet hum of the honeycomb. And it is certainly not the hypnotic one of the “slowly twirling houses with a music box built-in” that you see on the newborn’s cradle, haha. It’s a completely other story. A true one. And not even alleviated by bibs for high-minded with a green thumb. To reveal it, and I have already written it a few days ago, in order to be sure it was necessary to combine the passion with knowledge, and with technological innovation. Not chit-chats, for sure.

And everything thanks to a woman, actually to a Mujer Vertical in an Ischia way, Raffaella Scotti (mobile: +39 338 155 2688; e-mail: raffischia@libero.it). She is a bit peculiar, a pasionaria about environmental ethics, because environment and ethic are the same thing. And because, she makes of empathy with energy surrounding her, an exemplary reason for living. Nectar for the soul and muscle strength come together in this tough and multitask girl who will soon turn 45. I have known her since 2009, when - with her money - she made a documentary entitled “Ischia, the island of treasures” , a synthesis of a volcanic personality like this proud land. A very careless land, however. Oh well… Raffaella gave me the DVD at the Calise bar on the port, with a frugal ceremony full of hope towards a desirable evolution in the communication of tourism: someone had told her about my attempts started in the Nineties... Prima foto

I would have used for her, at that time, a mix to describer her, with some verbs and idioms: athletic and creative, between climbing, diving, climbing helmet and wetsuit to explore submerged walls, ropes, roped parties, masks and scuba tank in the blue… Physically fit and with a lot of honesty, dedication to the world, to its inhabitants, men, women and millenary breaths of trees, flowers, seagrass and sea fan, rare and very rare birds, cats and kittens. She was like this, and she hasn’t changed.

“I am always sincere, not naive, today Raffaella confirms - in that I am “without wax”, in the Latine way”. So, probably, like pure honey that has abandoned elsewhere the beeswax which will be for other uses… Raffaella serves me the gracious latin quote on a graceful and dreamlike tray for pastries suggested by her familiar memories of humanistic knowledge. But I share (with others) an explanation of the terminology even more convincing: “It is sincere because she is without pollutants, without impurities”. Which is almost the same thing, and doest not change the charm of a etymology lacking of excessive conceptual trappings.

So, we are sincere. Raffaella convinced me a lot for he relentless commitment towards the island’s Nature to protect and valorise it. Concretely. Some examples? In 2010, with Antonio Gebbia, she discovered and marked, among the Italian gorges, the Forra dei Pizzi Bianchi.Prima foto

It is a fantastic gutting, coloured by the effects of the hyper thermal fluids, characterised here and there by gibbous hillocks overlooking it: they are held together only by the cannucchiare (Red Valerian) and not by impossible drywalls (“parracine”) (stones are lacking there); and they have been excavated for centuries by the troglodytes out of necessity that passed trough the Iesca and its surroundings. It is the area which goes from Serrara down to the heart of the canyon of Cavascura, outlining a path which is the perfect hostpot of the collective imagination that believes in love for the unpolluted habitats. This area is an hymn to erotic geology, and a paradise for the hunters of porcini mushrooms, when it is the time. Take the right precautions, train yourself, arm yourself with cameras and great lenses, and go for it. In good company. In the end, exhausted, jump into the water, either boiling or seawater. Come on, what are you waiting for?

Recognitions and prizes arrived, for that exemplary work, from a photographic point of view; and even the attention of the Rai (national public broadcasting company of Italy), with the eternally red Osvaldo Bevilacqua who dedicated an ad hoc service in his ”program “Sereno Variabile”

And it does not end here. “Although modernity is taking us away from our roots, I stubbornly revitalise our traditions which are disappearing: from the cuisine, to the art of weaving baskets and nassella”, she says smiling. “After having tried to save many animal species, and after many years of study, in 2019 I realised another dream - Raffaella adds - the one of becoming a beekeeper, developing, however, the most protective farming technique towards this insect, with horizontal beehives".

Here we are, finally! Let’s go back to our bees, moreover, wild.

These free and independent bees, as remembers Paolo Fontana, entomologist and major Italian expert in the field - explains my friend again - in general are not swarms which start from the human hives: this is confirmed with the DNA analysis. For some time, with the launch of the App created by the Edmund Mach foundation of San Michele all’Adige with the “Bee Wild” project, I started to report the first wild colonies of Ischia giving the kick off to a new way to actively protect the Nature and its creatures. One of key aspects is checking how they react and resist the word enemy, the Varroa, a mite coming from Asia”:

Prima fotoPrima fotoThanks to her initiative and her reports, there is already a mapping of Ischia sites of wild bees settlements. The diffusion of the monitoring project on social networks is doing the rest. The attention is in constant growing.

"The survival of bees is linked to ours, however we often think about the profit and exploitation of these. My products? They are in the right quantities, including honey, propolis, one hundred percent pure beeswax. And then, homemade candles, body creams, soaps and so on”. "Here it is, Raffaella’s kaleidoscopic bazaar. I started explaining to children this little miracle, with series of enthusiastic meetings: if we want to reach adults and future adults, we need to start with them”. While a dim light and fragrances are emanating, from a location with a honeycomb shape, near the Montagnone woods, I deep my forefinger into a glass jar full of history to the brim…

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