From the perspective of probably every beekeeper in the U.S., the first day of spring, 2009, should be one of the most memorable in decades. It was on that day that Michelle Obama announced that not only would there be a garden on the White House lawn, the first since FDR was in office, but there would be, yes BEE HIVES!
The chefs at the white house are looking forward to cooking with locally grown fresh vegetables (and sharing what they cant use with the local food banks), and being able to use honey in some of their recipes. Honey produced right outside their kitchen door.
Mrs Obama readied the garden plot on the first day of spring with the help of a couple dozen local fifth graders. They worked to remove the sod and loosen the soil in preparation of planting of the spring crops. The L-shaped plot will contain year-round vegetables once completely established, with vegetables, berries and other tasty edibles. All will be raised organically.
To complete the garden, two bee hives will be moved in early this week. They belong to a White House employee who is a beekeeper and lives nearby. The hives belong to the beekeeper.
We found out that the beekeeper was a subscriber to our magazine, so we had a contact and were fortunate to have a phone conversation late last week. But, of course, there has to be some preparation for all this, so everything we discussed had to remain off the record. He is, however, a three year veteran beekeeper and had a strong desire to keep bees and beekeeping in front of the folks who live here, and to keep reminding them of the importance of the pollination efforts their bees will be performing.
As far as we can tell, theres never been a bee hive at the White House, so this first-ever apiary event is something that beekeepers everywhere are excited about. The calls and contacts received in our office once this broke exceeded any event in the past 23 years.
This is a big deal, and well have more next week.
An organic garden and beehives at the White House ... it doesnt get much better, does it?
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