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Bee City USA and Asheville’s Pollination Celebration


Honey at Asheville Bee Charmer | Photo courtesy of Asheville Bee Charmer

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Bee City USA? We think so. Asheville will celebrate its rise to certified Bee City status on June 17-23 with Pollination Celebration 2019, and we’re kicking things off early here to get you ready for all of the bee-utiful events. 🍯

DYK: Asheville was the first city to be named Bee City USA by the Bee City USA Initiative (part of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation), in 2012? Currently, there are 62 Bee Cities in the U.S.

And in 2018, UNC Asheville was recognized as both a Bee Campus USA and a Tree Campus USA. They even have a Bee Hotel on campus.

Let’s meet our local bees.

  • Bees pollinate around 90% of our wild plants and 75% of the world’s leading agricultural products.
  • There are more beekeepers in N.C. than any other state.
  • The Center for Honeybee Research is based in Asheville. It researches how to support honeybees + other pollinators, whose numbers have drastically decreased in recent years. 44% of honeybee colonies were lost between 2015 + 2016.
  • The Renaissance Hotel keeps 70,000 bees in its rooftop hives.
  • Although there are many honey varieties in WNC, sourwood (available in summer) is arguably the most prized for its distinctive flavor. Other local varieties include basswood, wildflower, tulip poplar + galberry.

Besides sharing their sweet treats with us, honeybees are key to our local + global economy. Honey production is valued at $200 million, and back in 2000, pollination in the U.S. agricultural industry was valued at $14.6 billion. And honey + other bee products have been proven to help with infections, skin problems, digestion, allergies + more.

And, since we know y’all love gifts and bees, we’re running a giveaway with the Asheville Bee Charmer to celebrate their five year anniversary and the Pollination Celebration. The Bee Charmer staff picked a few of their favorite things, including honey varietals from right here at home and across the U.S., a copy of the Bee Charmer cookbook, hand-poured beeswax candles, body care products, kitchenware + more. Want the whole haul? Enter here through Thurs., June 13, when we’ll pick a random winner.


Asheville Bee Charmer Gift Basket

Asheville Bee Charmer will celebrate its fifth anniversary next Friday on June 14 – so you can get a headstart on your Pollinator Week fun. The Five for the Hive party will include food + drink samples, raffles + prizes, and information about what the store – and our local beekeepers – are up to.

If you’re ready to bring on more bee fun, check out the full schedule for Pollination Celebration – including special beer releases, presentations, honey tastings + more – here. And on Thurs., June 13, check out the Black Jar Honey International Honey Tasting, where you’ll get to sample varieties of honey from around the world + sip cocktails while local celebrity judges (like Katie Button) award prizes for the best honey. Get tickets ($25) here.


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