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white house beehive on the south lawnwhite house beehive on the south lawn

White House Bees Deliver 175 Pounds of Honey for 2012

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While not the record crop generated by last year’s hive, the honeybees on the White House’s South Lawn can be proud of the awesome 175 pounds of sweet stuff they produced this year.

During a tour for the Association of Food Journalists this past weekend, White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses revealed this year’s yield – down from the 225.5 pounds received last year, but still very much in line with 2009 (134 pounds) and 2010 (184 pounds).

Analyzation of the honey last year by Texas A&M University revealed the dominant pollen source as clover — along with dogwood, cherry, crepe myrtle, elm, magnolia trees, honeysuckle and even poison ivy.

Unlike other beekeepers in the Northeast, White House beekeeper Charlie Brandts tends to harvest the South Lawn hive in early August. In an interview with the Washington Examiner, he credited the “country-like setting” of the White House with its populations of trees, annuals and ponds for providing a “Shangri La for bees.”

Besides its place in the White House kitchen or various foods, the honey is often gifted by the Obamas to foreign dignitaries and guests; as well as being used in the official White House Honey Ale.

You can see a behind-the-scenes video on the White House beehive below.

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