Since 1989, the National Honey Board has celebrated September as National Honey Month and until this year no one has questioned the awareness event’s chosen month or incentive. But after a careful investigation into best beekeeping practices and dialogues in conjunction with our partner, The Rodale Institute, Wedderspoon has decided to come forward to create a campaign to change Honey Month. ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood, The Rodale Institute’s Executive Director explains the impetus for the change and our motivation in stating “If you are a beekeeper and you are going to take honey, you should finish by the end of July so that the bees have enough honey to survive the winter. Continuing to harvest honey until September does not give them enough time to build necessary stores for the winter.”
Our joint campaign to change Honey Month will celebrate honeybees and their contribution to the food system as pollinators. We also aim to raise awareness around the decline in honeybee populations and the threats they face in the form of toxic agricultural chemicals. Beekeepers have been reporting losses in their colonies of around 30-90% each year since around 2006 and unfortunately there is no end in sight. The plight of the honeybee, though seemingly far-removed from our daily life, is indeed crucial to our collective health. Not only are they responsible for pollinating upwards of 90% of our yummiest flowering crops but honeybees are also referred to as ‘canaries in the mine’ or ‘keystone species’ – indicators of wider environmental damage able to monitor and alert us to negative environmental influences before other signs and symptoms are seen on a larger scale.
We hope to utilize our position and wield our influence in order to spread awareness about this extremely important and timely issue. Please continue to check back for a special giveaway, informative blog posts and special bee facts throughout the entire month of July! Remember to use the hashtag #beeaware to tag your own posts about pollinator-friendly gardening and show the bees some love!