Six Steps to a Sweet Family Summer

Posted by National Honey Board on June 01, 2017

Bee on Flower Shutterstock 190425893

Summer is officially here, and it's time for planning summer vacations, family gatherings and anything that will keep the kids busy until school starts again in the fall. If a vacation is not in the budget or you're just looking for a little sweet inspiration, we've got six honey-inspired activities that the entire family can enjoy together.

Visit a beekeeper. Honey bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, as well as our economy, but they may come off as scary to little ones. Share a teachable moment with your family by connecting with a local beekeeper to ask questions, sample honey and maybe even tour an apiary (bee farm). Many states in the U.S. have their own beekeeping associations that would love to connect you with someone in your area. If there is one thing we're sure of, it's that beekeepers love sharing their passion with others!

Plant a bee-friendly garden. Ever heard the phrase, "busy like a bee"? Well, it definitely has a ring of truth when you think about all that honey bees do. Not only do bees make our world beautiful by pollinating flowers, but pollinators are also responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat! We can thank honey bees for watermelon, cherries, cucumbers, almonds and even the alfalfa that is fed to cattle, just to name a few. With as busy as these amazing creatures are, a bountiful diet is very important to their survival. Consider plants that are rich in nectar and pollen and bloom throughout the year. If you can, hold off on pulling dandelions right away as many times they are the first source of food for honey bees coming out of with winter season.

Make a bee-friendly pollinator bath. Have an old birdbath sitting outside? Turn it into a bath for all pollinators! Just as good sources of food are vital to our pollinator friends, they also need good, clean sources of water as they work throughout the day. For a bath that attracts all pollinators, add some stones or marbles that bees can rest on without drowning as they collect water. Another fun idea is to float some old corks on top of the bath. Be sure to change the water out regularly to ensure that there is clean water available and to prevent mosquitoes from maturing.

Create fun honey bee crafts at home. Crafting at home with kids is a great time; you get to watch them learn and grow and use their imaginations and then you get to treasure their art for a lifetime. Check out these fun bee crafts for kids of all ages:

Host a honey tasting party. Did you know that there are more than 300 varietals of honey found in the U.S. alone? Taste three or four different varietals and you'll notice that each has its own unique flavor notes that pair nicely with everything from sharp cheddar cheese to salted butter and rich dark chocolate. You can learn more about the most popular varietals and fun ways to use them here.

Honey up your summer with a backyard cookout! Invite the neighbors over for a good old-fashioned BBQ. As a humectant, honey attracts and retains moisture to keep your grilled meats juicy and tender. Try it out this summer in our Honey Grilled Chicken, or these other delicious honey-inspired grilling recipes.

Summer will be over before we know it, so let's enjoy the time we have in the warm summer sun. Quality family time is great, but it's even sweeter when honey is involved!

What are your family's favorite summer activities? Let us know in the comments below!