20th August is World Honey Bee Day!

World Honey Bee Day…

It’s a workforce of billions, constantly busy, so small we hardly notice them and yet we are wary when a single one approaches. Bees, and other pollinators, are essential to our survival and about three quarters of our global crop production depends on them. So it’s no surprise that they have their very own International days of recognition.

The Honey Bee is celebrated every year on the third Saturday in August. This tradition was started in 2009 to highlight a little creature that is often taken for granted. World Honey Bee Day is the perfect opportunity for us to recognise the huge contribution that honey bees make in the world and to explore ways to protect this essential species.

Honey bees are in decline all over the world due to an increased use of pesticides and the gradual destruction of their natural habitats. Fortunately, the ancient art of bee keeping is being encouraged globally and is proving to be a successful and productive way for farmers to diversify in areas with poor soil or low rainfall.

Beekeepers, or Apiarists, must be trained to maintain the bee hives, inspect them regularly for disease, provide the bees with food, replace the queen bee when necessary and, of course, harvest the honey.

The sweet reward produced by the bees depends on the flowers grown in their habitat such as Acacia, Manuka or Orange Blossom. Our own local honey can be sourced from Tiptree who produce Essex Blossom Honey, English Blossom Honey and the rarer English Clear Honey. These can all be purchased right here in The Village Tiptree Tearoom.

The benefits of honey are wide ranging. Many people believe that the misery of hay-fever can be alleviated by eating locally produced honey. There is no doubt at all that honey is good for you. It contains antioxidants and can help to lower your cholesterol levels as well as being packed full of nutrients.

So how can you celebrate on the 20th August? Here are some ideas to get you started…

  • Plant some wild flowers in your garden to help encourage pollination locally.
  • Come to the Farm Park and visit the Wildlife Walk, a favourite spot for bees.
  • Check out our new Bug Hotel (beside the Poly Tunnel) and see who is checking in or out today.
  • Make some honey cakes.
  • Watch ‘Bee Movie’- it has never lost its charm.
  • Have a honey-roast themed dinner and get creative!
  • Watch Hitchcock’s ‘The Bees’…when the children are in bed.
  • Try some crispy honey buffalo wings. Mmmm….

Honey bees do sting, but only when they feel threatened. So, if you are lucky enough to see one, just keep still until he flies off to find the next sweet thing. Just remember to thank him as he leaves!