Apples in Honey – Israel 2019 – Jewish New Year
It is customary to dip apples in honey on the eve of the Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah and to say: That will be renewed as a good and sweet year. This expresses the hope that the new year shall be a sweet one.
Israel is one of the most crowded countries in the world and the limited availability of grazing plants for bees directly affects honey production. Honey bees feed from flowers and process the nectar into honey. Honey yields increase when broader varieties of flowers are available to honey bees. Drought years harm the development and survivability of wildflower plants and the amounts of blooms and nectar they produce. Most agricultural growers rely on bees. Raising almonds depends on pollination and relies on local honey bees. Fruit such as apples, pears and plums as well as field crops like melon, watermelon and sunflowers all require bee pollination. We must provide a solution for the honey bees which are so important to our existence.
The Syrian Bee was the original endemic species in Eretz Israel and bee growing in this area has relied upon it for thousands of years. This species has impressive defensive skills along with aggressive and stinging traits that can also be turned against humans. “Modern” bee growing began here in the late 19th century with hives populated not by the local aggressive Syrian Bees but by the Italian Bee which is calm, does not disrupt its environment and yields high honey output. This is the most common species in the world. Italian Bees do not sting, it is possible to work with them calmly and it is important to advise parents and children that this bee is not aggressive and there is nothing to fear because it does not sting.
Wildflower honey yields depend largely on the intensity of winter rains. Natural Mediterranean plants grow wild in open areas and nectar gathered from plants such as the Common Sage is called Wildflower Honey. There is great demand for this high quality honey.
The main honey harvesting season for honey in Israeli is in the spring, between March and May.
Citrus blooms in the spring and citrus honey is of high quality. However, the citrus groves that once stretched from Hadera in the north to Gadera in the south and provided the main source of this honey have largely disappeared due to construction.
Eucalyptus blossoms are an important source of nectar during the pleasant autumn months, when they provide large amounts of nectar. The eucalyptus is one of the most significant honey plants in the world. In its native Australia, honey production is based mostly on eucalyptus trees and is among the highest in the world. The eucalyptus is known as an important source of pollination and of resin for producing propolis. The eucalyptus is also one of the main honey plants in Israel. Eucalyptus honey is rich in iron.