Olga Palavidou cautiously inserts a small spoon into the waxy cell of a honeycomb. The larva inside has to be moved to what's known as a "peanut" cell so that worker bees can raise it to become a queen bee. The job requires a lot of patience, and it's one that Palavidou, a wiry woman in her late thirties, is already handling with ease.
Six months ago, this retail buyer was sitting at a desk in an Athens office. On weekends, she and her friends--just like hundreds of thousands of other Athenians--would go bar and taverna-hopping; annual vacations were spent in the Cyclades. Then the crisis caught up with her. From one day to the next, Palavidou found herself out of work. "Trying to find another job in Athens was hopeless," she says. "Then somebody told me about beekeeping, how it was a good way to get into farming."