In 2009, a small group of beekeepers petitioned the USDA for a holiday to honor—and raise awareness about—honey bees and the people who keep them. National Honey Bee Day was the result. This year it falls on Saturday, August 20.
This a holiday right after our own hearts. As any regular Edible reader knows, we like to bring you stories about bees every chance we can. Our Notes from the Meadow columnist, Laura Klahre, brings us the buzz just as her bees bring theirs at Blossom Meadow Farm. Our bee-related content is just about as good (and close-to-the-hive) as it gets.
So, to celebrate, we’ve compiled some of our favorite, most buzz-worthy reads.
1. Trend Alert: Bees are the New Chickens: Here’s How
Back in March, Kelly Ann Smith told us all about beekeeping classes on the East End.
One of our favorite lines from the piece comes from Deb Klughers of Bonac Bees: “Beekeeping is only important if you eat food, or know anyone who does.”
2. Minding My Own: The Marvels of Beeswax
In November of 2015, Laura Klahre shared with us the marvels of beeswax—most notably, their role in the creation of gummy bears.
“Beeswax has a wide range of uses, including the production of food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals,” she wrote. “While beeswax is inert and has an insignificant nutritional value, I’m hungry, so let’s focus on how beeswax helps with food. It is used to coat cheese to seal out the air and prevent mold. For fruit including citrus, melons, pineapples, apples and pears, beeswax is a surface treatment that prevents water loss and increases shelf life.”
3. Recipe: Bees Knees Cocktail
In May of 2015, Eileen M. Duffy shared this cocktail recipe courtesy of Laura Klahre.
The cocktail—made with gin, lemon juice, honey simple syrup, and mint leaves—is the perfect drink to celebrate National Honey Bee Day.
It’s delicious though, so no judgment if you want to drink it more than one day a year.
4. Peconic Forager: Sweetness of Spring
In 2005, our Editor-in-Chief Brian Halweil shared this beautiful story on East End beekeeping and honey bees.
“There are about 157 registered beekeepers left in Suffolk County,” he wrote. “As farms disappear, so do the bees… And the area’s dominant crops—potatoes, sweet corn, grapes, and landscaping plants—don’t provide much food for bees. The East End’s beeyards may be tiny compared to those in upstate New York and elsewhere around the nation, but a stubborn and shrinking crew of East End beekeepers patiently waits for warmer days and the first blooms. And honey connoisseurs wait for the light, spring honeys.”
5. Hive Minds
In June of 2014, Gwendolyn Groocock wrote about her children’s experience meeting the bees at Blossom Meadow Farm.
“[Laura Klahre] shows them some live bees buzzing around honeycombs in a small, enclosed demonstration hive and the netted hat and other equipment she uses to tend the real hives at the farms and orchards,” she wrote. “The kids are fascinated; they bombard Klahre with questions and start using the cute, two-toned crayons to draw bees and hives. The crayons, it turns out, are a great way to engage even the littlest kids in learning about how important bees are in nature, and why they should be appreciated.”
Did we miss your favorite bee-related story? Let us know in the comments!