Bee keeping and Monasticism have a long history of working together. The appeal of bee keeping is closely tied to the ways of life of the monk. Bees operate as a close knit community in which each bee has a special task that is for the good of the group. Much like monastic life, the bees are devoted to their community and work together for a common goal.
Beekeeping or (apiculture, from Latin: apis "bee") is the maintenance of honey bee colonies, commonly in hives, by humans. Depictions of humans collecting honey from wild bees date to 15,000 years ago; efforts to domesticate them are shown in Egyptian art around 4,500 years ago. During medieval times, abbeys and monasteries were centers of beekeeping, since beeswax was highly prized for candles and fermented honey was used to make alcoholic mead in areas of Europe where vines would not grow.
With ABBEE HONEY now in its second year of honey production (though it’s been four years since it started up) and volunteer Jeff Horchoff keeping and wrangling the bees, the prospects of a sweet future are a bit more secure.
There are currently 20 hives around the Abbey grounds that yielded more than 70 gallons of honey during the 2015 honey crop. Though that may seem to be a lot of honey, it is nowhere enough honey to supply the demand. The goal of ABBEE HONEY would be to have honey in the gift shop all year round so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy raw honey from a local source. To achieve this goal, the number of hives has to increase. If you are interested in helping this endeavor, as well as helping to sustain the bee population in our area, please consider a sponsorship to help defray the cost of new hives and processing equipment. The different levels at sponsorship are:
Saint Joseph ABBEE HONEY
Drone Bee: $100 annual sponsorship. Your name or company name will be put on a decal and then placed on a hive.
Worker Bee: $300 annual sponsorship. Your name or company name will be put on a decal and then placed on a hive and on each bottle of honey bottled during the year of sponsorship.
Queen Bee: $500 annual sponsorship. Your name or company name will be placed on a plaque and that hive will then be referred to as “your” hive for the life of the hive, and your name or company name will be placed on each bottle of honey bottled during the year of sponsorship.
Sponsorship runs for a period of one year. You may sponsor a hive at anytime during the year, however, since honey will be harvested only twice during the year (June and October), and sponsors names will be placed on each bottle of honey, the Worker and Queen sponsorships will run from either June to October of the same year, or October of one year until June of the following year. They will not automatically renew.
Please consider supporting this worthwhile, all natural sustainable project.
You will "Bee" happy you did!
If you would like to donate, select an annual sponsorship level and click the Donate button.
You may also pay by check to: Saint Joseph Abbey.
Please reference "ABBEE HONEY" on your check and mail to:
Saint Joseph Abbey | Development Office | 75376 River Rd. | Saint Benedict, LA 70457
For more information and interesting videos from Jeff about Beekeeping and all of its excitement, click here: studiobeeproductions.com If sponsors would like to see our bees in action, email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.