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Bee beauty contest from the land of milk and honey


There are cat shows and dog shows, even ferret shows. And during county fair season, there are plenty of chances to pick the best pig, cow or rabbit. But a beauty pageant for bees?

From The Times' blog on events in the Middle East, Babylon & Beyond, comes a report about such a competition held at a boutique honey farm in Israel. The blog notes that honey gift baskets are a common holiday present among Israelis, who consume 3,600 tons of honey a year. Indeed, when Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year, arrives this month, many Israelis will observe the holiday tradition of eating apples with honey -- the symbolic promise of a sweet year.

Along with details about the bee beauty pageant, held at the Dvorat Ha'Tavor farm, Babylon & Beyond shares this tidbit about the challenges of raising bees in Israel:

And there's also the name thing. Israeli apiarists appealed to the Hebrew Language Academy several years ago, asking to find a new word for the profession since the existing word, kavran, (from kaveret, hive), sounds like the Hebrew word for undertaker. They finally gave up and issued a unilateral declaration changing it to dvorai (from dvora, bee) instead.

Pictured here is one of this year's pageant contestants.

-- Steve Padilla

Photo credit: Dvorat Ha'Tavor

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