Folks have been buzzing about bees lately, and with good reason. Not only are they incredibly important to our food supply (we need that pollenation, yo) there’s also a growing number of apiaries popping up on the city’s rooftops and inside community gardens. That’s why this year’s Honey Fest is going way beyond its past four years as a 1-day festival in the Rockaways. It’s 2014 and they’re ramping up for an entire NYC Honey Week. For seven days, NYC Honey Week promises to take city dwellers through the gamut of all things related to the tasty nectar, from apiary tours and beekeeping classes to a honey-based cocktail competition and themed dinners. “There’s so much for people of all interests,” says Steve Rogenstein, who organized Honey Week along with Jessica Austerlitz.
Steve has been a beekeeper for the past 3 years. “It’s something that since childhood has been fascinating to me,” he says. “I had several thwarted attempts at beekeeping in the city. It never really materialized for me, and then I took a course, read all sorts of books and got my own hives.” The course he’s referring to is the one at Brooklyn Grange, the major force behind the week’s events and home to the city’s largest commercial apiary. As his interest deepened, he began helping the rooftop farm expand Honey Fest into a full-blown celebration.
But it isn’t all food and games at Honey Week. The goal is also to help people see the importance of bees to our own well-being. “Once they’re gone, our food supply is gone,” Steve says. “Their contribution is very valuable to the planet. Other than having fun and educating your palate [with different types of honey], that’s ostensibly what it’s about.” He also points to a growing amount of interest in the issue amongst celebrities who’ve picked up beekeeping in their spare time. “With that popularity, the tipping point of awareness grows,” he says. “We love honey, and we want to share that appreciation.” We’re certainly prepared to drink some honey bourbon in their honor, any day.
Check out the week’s full list of events, and additional information, here.