Walk into any grocery store this time of year, and you will sees jars and bottles of honey piled up front and center. Israelis stock up on it and enjoy it over the festivals.
Israelis Love Honey
As we are nearing this sweet time of year, there is no better opportunity to reflect on where honey comes from and how important it is. So happily, Israel provides timely answers by offering its annual honey festival.
Israelis consume 4,000 tons of honey a year and 40% of honey (some 1,600 tons) is enjoyed from Rosh Hashana through Sukkot.
As we all have a sweet tooth, we should make time to take part in Israel’s annual honey festival. This year, the Traditional Honey Festival will be held from September 22 through October 29 at various bee farms across the country.
So gather the family and head to a local apiary. With 100,000 apiaries located across the country, there are many places to visit. Israel has 450 beekeepers (apiarists) who have placed some 60,000 apiaries in agricultural areas to help promote pollination.
Nature’s Prize Pollinators
Honey production has been practiced in Israel for thousands of years. It is a very important industry as bees help pollinate 80% of all crops including vegetables and fruits. Birds, bats and butterflies are the other pollinators.
Since bees are so important to our future crops, Israel has deemed it important to keep a check on their health. Israel is presently the only country in the world that insists beekeepers offer clean, water free of pesticides to their bees. The industry also monitors every hive.
Bees Love The Galil
Israel’s north is host to many bee farms. During the festival, many farms are open to the public. The apiarists will offer classes on the life of the honey bee, workshops on candle making from bees wax, honey cake baking and of course, honey tasting. Some will offer video presentations and information on the incredible healing benefits of honey including the products royal jelly and propolis.
Apiaries to visit in the Galil
Pirchei Hagalil, Moshav Monot
Kaveret HaBustan in Pekiin Druze Village
Ofir, Alon Hagalil
Yaarat HaDvash, allonai Abba
Galil Apiary on Kibbutz Shamir
Dvorat Ha Tavor, Lower Galilee
For more information on the festival, check out the Honey Council’s website
And here is information on apiaries across the country that you can visit.
It’s no mistake that when Israelis send each other new years’ greetings, the word sweet (matok) is a big part of the wish.
So wishing you all a Shana Tova v’metuka, a happy and sweet new year!