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Bee beauty contest from the land of milk and honey

September 9, 2008 | 11:55 am


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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