Michelle Obama was criticized when she announced in 2009 that she wanted the White House to be home to a vegetable garden and honey bees. Her idea was to add an area for bees on the South Lawn which would then provide pollination for the garden. Nearly three years later, her home gardening movement has taken off.
In fact, the White House garden produced almost a ton of food in one year. That’s a pretty big fete for a space that started with a $200 start up cost. The White House can now also boast that a record honey crop has been produced in its third year of production. A massive 225 and a half pounds of honey!
The number seemed to startle staff beekeeper, Charlie Brandts, who claims that most hobby hives produce 60 pounds of honey or 5 gallons annually.
He told U.S. News, “It’s just craziness. They did really well this year.” The honey bees have been considered over producers since they began creating honey at the White House. The first year the bees created 134 pounds of honey and in the second year the buzzing creatures created 183 pounds of syrupy goodness.
According to Bee Culture’s Kim Flottum, the Obama’s honey bees are in “honey bee heaven” because they are in the perfect location with lots of water, nectar from the garden and, “no pest pressure”.
The White House uses the honey the bees create to give gifts to friends, family, and other famous folks, as well as a replacement for sugar and in food and drink products like cookies, salad dressing, and beer.
It is possible that with the record number of honey produced at the White House on the South Lawn that others will catch on to bee keeping. After all, Michelle Obama’s plan to create a White House garden did lead others to create gardens of their own for their homes and help kids learn to create them at their schools all across the country.
What do you think? Ever given any thought to keeping bees?