Have you heard the buzz? National Honey Bee Day is this Saturday, and you don't want to be stung by the regret of failing to celebrate our honey producing friends.
Right now is a crucial moment for the honey bee's longterm survival; conservationists saw an almost 40% loss of colonies over the winter. Scientists believe that a myriad of factors are contributing to the drop in population—habitat loss, pathogens, parasites—with the most impactful being the widespread use of pesticides. And while we empathize with the fear of being stung, honey bees are not to be feared as they play an integral role in our environment by pollinating plants.
National Honey Bee Day is a way for us to honor all of the good work that the honey bee does, and there are plenty of events to do so. The Governors Island Urban Farm is opening up to give visitors a rare peek at the inner workings of the colony, complete with meeting the queen and all of her workers. You'll also get a chance to taste the fruits of their labor as Zarbees Naturals will have samples on hand.
The Staten Island Zoo is using National Honey Bee Day not only as an opportunity to praise the bees whose work pollinates over one third of the food we eat, but also as a chance to build your own "bee chalet" to take home and house your very own colony.
Also, did you now that the roof of the Javits Center has 6.75 acres of green space that serves as the home to thousands of honey bees, as well as many different species of birds and bats? They offer free tours of what must be one of NYC's most unexpected green spaces.
Lastly, let's talk honey. Pollinating so many of our food sources is cool and all, but we want to taste that delicious honey! Aberfeldy Scotch has put together a program that allows you to raise a glass to the striped insects. The "Adopt-a-Bee" program is taking place at five bars across the city (American Whiskey, Hold Fast, Jams at 1 Hotel Central Park, the Hunterian and Lobby Bar at the Williamsburg Hotel) where mixologists have created cocktails pairing honey and Aberfeldy together, with Aberfeldy donating 12 bee hives for each cocktail sold.
Remember—bees are our friends and we couldn't live without them. Celebrate them this National Honey Bee Day.