It has long been a tradition for beekeepers to bring apples and honey to the President of the State a few days before Rosh Hashanah. On Sunday, a large group of beekeepers came, bearing gifts of apples, jars, and individual small pots of honey, honey cakes, honey cupcakes, candies shaped like comic bees, and glittering decorative items in the shape of pomegranates and apples.As always, the beekeepers were dressed in the protective white overalls they wear when in the company of bees, and the many very young children that they brought along, were dressed likewise.Some of the beekeepers are already second and third-generation apiarists, and the many tiny children they brought with them may one day be fourth-generation apiarists, but they were too young to be able to foretell whether they will be the honey (dvash) or the sting (haoketz) on society.
'We love our profession'
Because the event was larger and somewhat more formal than in previous years, it was held in the main hall of the President’s Residence, where a table was laid to overflowing with Rosh Hashanah delicacies.Mounted on the stage behind the president was a bust of the ancient Roman Emperor Hadrian, and at the opposite end of the hall, a large screen on which was shown the process of the recreation in honeycomb of the bust of Hadrian using wax produced by 50,000 bees onto a 3D printed grid. The project was led by The Israel Museum and it emulated the ancient lost wax technique that had been used to craft the original statue.Herzog and his wife Michal were quite fascinated, but equally so as they listened to beekeepers speak of their achievements, their concerns about competition abroad and competition from imports, but most of all from local producers of imitation honey.They love their profession, they said, but they are worried that if circumstances continue to deteriorate, apiaries will simply die out.