Governor McAuliffe declares first-ever honey month in Virginia

Published 9:19 am Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) asks, “What better time to celebrate one of nature’s simplest pleasures — honey — than during September, Virginia Honey Month?” Because honey is a pure, natural product and now more than ever, many people are looking for natural ingredients, Governor Terence R. McAuliffe has declared the entire month of September as Honey Month.

Honey is a back-to-basic food that people can feel good about using in both culinary applications, as well as finding new and innovative ways to use it. It is an energy booster. A teaspoon of honey with lemon water on an empty stomach kicks up the metabolic rate. Honey possesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can improve digestive processes and boost immunity, and a glass of warm milk with honey at night helps fight insomnia.

Keith Tignor, State Apiarist at VDACS, says, “In recognition of honey’s delicious flavor, its medicinal properties and its versatility, I hope every Virginia will do something this month to recognize the importance of honey and to take actions that will ensure a continued supply of this super food and its maker, the honey bee.”

Tignor suggests the following actions that can give Honey Month celebrations a lasting impact:

• Do something to help sustain Virginia’s honey bee population.

• Plant a pollinator garden with a diversity of nectar and pollen sources (

• Become a beekeeper. Beginner classes are sponsored by a number of local beekeeper groups around the state. Contact a group near you from the Virginia State Beekeepers Association website (

• Build a nesting site for native bees (

• Invite friends and neighbors for a honey-themed dinner or picnic. You could start with Greek Apples and Honey, a recipe that serves four with no cooking required. Ingredients include 6 – 8 Macintosh apples, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2-3 tablespoons of honey (or to taste), 2-3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts. Wash apples. Dry well. Peel, if desired, and core. Slice 1/4 inch thick. Toss with lemon juice. Arrange apples on serving platter. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with walnuts. You’ll find other recipes for main and side dishes, appetizers and desserts at