You may be asking yourself, “What in the world is National Honey Bee Day?” Let’s take a look! National Honey Bee Day was first celebrated on August 22, 2009 and was also known as National Honey Bee Awareness Day. National Honey Bee Day started as a grassroots effort designed to educate people about honeybees, beekeepers, and the beekeeping industry. On August 11, 2009 the upcoming and very first National Honey Bee Day was formerly recognized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. National Honeybee Day was now decorated with the badge of being a true and recognized national holiday(at least in the eyes of the USDA)! The inaugural celebration featured 41 participating programs across 16 different states!
Since 2009, National Honey Bee Day has grown tremendously in terms of notoriety and reach. In 2010 beekeepers across the country voted on the day’s first organized theme, “Local Honey – Good for bees, you, and the environment.” This theme was developed to capture the message of the celebration. During this same year, the programs reach formally expanded to 22 states! National Honeybee Day now hosts programs across all 50 states and outreach and awareness continue to expand into new communities every day.
Why would we want to recognize the honey bee, the beekeeper, and the art of beekeeping? You may have heard that honey bee populations across the globe are declining. Scientists refer to this global phenomenon as Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. Although there is very little consensus across research communities regarding the direct cause of CCD, there is no doubt that honeybee populations are definitely declining. Beekeepers are the individuals on the front line of this fight. They are the ones raising and protecting the honeybee colonies. Interestingly, over 95% of bee hives across the U.S. are maintained by hobby and backyard beekeepers. Talk about grassroots! The guy next door and the kid across the street are literally the champions of the honey bee. Just as the Lorax speaks for the trees, these folks speak for the bees! Beyond that, a small percent of beekeepers actually use their craft to support themselves and their families. And, an even smaller percent use their colonies to pollinate large scale farms and agri-business. Regardless of the beekeepers function, hobby or industry, it is these individuals who are responsible for sustaining the global honeybee population.
Get involved this year and support a beekeeper! By purchasing high quality, pure honey from a small business beekeeper you are helping provide a household with valuable income and you are participating in creating a sustainable future for the honeybee. Now that’s the message behind National Honey Bee Day!
All of the honey we produce at Savannah Bee starts at the grassroots level with the small business beekeeper. These individuals are all lifelong bee enthusiasts with a passion for their craft and the honey bee. These are individuals who are supporting their families with their passion. In addition they are using all of their energy to prop up a sinking honeybee population. Your honey purchase directly helps these family beekeepers and the honeybee! Happy National Honey Bee Day (August 16, 2014)!
Submitted By: Brantley Crowder