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Keeping the Honey in the Land of Milk and Honey

(photo: flickr/allagashbrewing)

This year during High Holy Days, a special honey festival in Israel is raising awareness about the current threats to Israel’s bee population. Festival goers can learn more about the honey manufacturing process and also more about the health of the bee population in Israel.

Forty percent of the honey consumed in Israel every year is consumed during the High Holidays, when it is customary to eat honey and give it as a gift. So, just in time for Rosh Hashanah, the Israeli Honey Board is kicking off its annual honey festival at apiaries across the country. The festival, spread across more than 10 locations, started Sept. 22 and will continue until Oct. 29, after Sukkot ends…

There are around 500 beekeepers in Israel who manufacture honey: 100 are commercial manufacturers who are responsible for around 80% of Israel’s honey, while the other 400 are small, boutique manufacturers or amateur bee enthusiasts. Together they produce about 3,000 tons of honey each year…

Apart from promoting honey—the everlasting Jewish symbol for having a good and sweet New Year—the purpose behind the annual honey festival is raising awareness of the problems facing the industry in Israel. “We want the public to know about our struggle to keep bees alive,” said Avidor. “We need the public to support our struggle against pesticides and to support our tree-planting. People need to realize the importance of this. The importance of keeping our bees alive goes way beyond honey. This is about the importance of pollination. Without bees, we won’t have food.”

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