Appreciate the Bees: Philadelphia Honey Festival

The bee population is suffering all over the country. And with a decrease in bee population, scientists fear that pollination will suffer, too. This tragic press release from the University of Toronto showcases a new study detailing that dismal decline.

According to this 2004 National Geographic article, we count on bees for 15 to 30 percent of the food we eat in the U.S. If pollination continues to decrease year after year, that could spell doom for certain fruits and vegetables. The income of our nation's hardest workers—farmers—could suffer, too. Many of them count on bees and pollination to maintain the crops that they grow. (Check out this 2006 NPR article on the almond growers of Central California, who rely on bees to produce their billion pound nut crop.)

This weekend, Philadelphians have a chance to support and celebrate bees at the 2010 Philadelphia Honey Festival. From the website:

December 2010 marks the 200th birthday of Philadelphian Lorenzo L. Langstroth, The Father of American Beekeeping, and inventor of the hive that changed the future of apiculture forever. To celebrate his birthday, four Philadelphia organizations have teamed up to present the Philadelphia Honey Festival on the weekend of September 10-12, 2010. The coordinating partners are the Wagner Free Institute of Science, Philadelphia Beekeepers Guild, Bartrams Garden and The Wyck Association, organizations invested in educating the public about natural science.

For more on bees in the city, check out this month's Grid (hitting the streets as we speak) featuring a story on Milk & Honey Market's Summer in the City Honey Program.