Recapping the Sweet Summer of 2016

by Chelsea Cepicky

6 December, 2016

The Arland Group’s National Honey Board team had an exciting summer full of sweet events, bees, honey and great attendees! Our team set out with a goal to help spread the education, benefits and uses of honey to a variety of groups. Below is a list of events that took place and what we did!

1.     Honey Baking Summit – June 6-8, Providence, RI

For our Honey Baking Summit, we invited 18 of the countries top bakers to Providence where we taught them technical information about honey; led them in a formal tasting with American Honey Tasting Society founder, Marina Marchese; and had Chef’s Melina Kelson and Richard Miscovich lead the group in baking demonstrations.

Attendees also had the chance to get up close and personal with the bees at Fruit Hill Apiaries, an apiary in rural Providence. Attendees went home with the skills and knowledge to incorporate honey into their bakery foods, various varietals of honey they could use to add depth to their products.

2.     Honey Baking All-Stars – June 27-20, Chicago, IL

The Honey Baking All-Stars Summit was similar to the Honey Baking Summit, except this time we invited 11 of our previous attendees from past years and had them bring their own honey formulas.

When bakers arrived in Chicago, they learned more in-depth information about honey and baked their best made with honey products. We also filmed them talking about why they love honey and use it in their products.

On the final day, we took a field trip to Sweet Beginnings, LLC., an urban apiary located in Chicago, where the bees feed on a variety of wildflowers and city plants. It was really interesting to see how bees can thrive in an urban environment. The bakers really enjoyed the opportunity to see where one of their favorite ingredients comes from.

3.     Honey Beer Summit – August 29-31, St. Louis, MO

We had 23 of the country’s best craft brewers in St. Louis for an unforgettable learning experience. Brewers attended technical sessions led by the National Honey Board, Michael Fairbrother of Moonlight Meadery and beer researcher, Hugo Patino. Attendees then toured a variety of local breweries including Urban Chestnut, Perennial Artisan Ales and Earthbound.

On the final day of the summit, the brewers toured an urban apiary in St. Louis, and had Jane Sueme, owner of Isabee’s Beekeeping Supplies, teach them about bees and demonstrate the process of extracting honey.

4.     Honey Editor Summit – September 22-25, Chicago, IL

For our final event of the year, the National Honey Board invited 11 magazine editors to Chicago to attend a summit based on honey products and trends. During this event, magazine editors learned how honey is made, participated in a variety of tastings and learned about products containing honey in a variety of food and beverage categories.

Attendees also had an opportunity to tour Eli’s Cheesecake. The entire group was excited to try some of their delicious cheesecakes, including the Honey Mediterranean Cheesecake.

Overall, the summer was valuable for both the attendees of our events and our team. It was a summer full of learning experiences, delicious treats, bees and new trends. We really enjoyed the variety of adventures and can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2017.