National Honey Bee Day and Honey Harvesting at the Nashville Music City Center

National Honey Bee Day is an awareness day started by beekeepers in the US to build community awareness of the bee industry through education to promote and advance beekeeping and make the public aware of the environmental concerns that impact honey bees.

With growing interest in sustainability and local food production, Nashville’s Music City Center (MCC) installed beehives on their 4-acre green roof in 2015. Bees help maintain the green roof and the hives can produce up to 200 pounds of honey each year from about 100K bees. The Nashville Beekeepers’ Association manages and has taken the lead on caring for the hives while training a few members of the MCC staff on beekeeping. The MCC works closely with Centerplate to use the output in items on the menu, and also as thank-you gifts for partners. Urban beekeeping is a big trend in Nashville, partly because it doesn’t require the pesticides that farmlands do.

The Nashville MCC is the only real food-certified Convention Center in the US and pride themselves in serving as much local and sustainable food and products as possible. On July 28th we were invited out to talk with Chef Max Knoepfel, Executive Chef at the Music City Center who has worked in restaurants around the world, and to watch the honey harvesting process. The honey that was harvested will be used by Chef Max in the kitchen and some will be jarred and given to customers.

About the Music City Center

The Music City Center is Nashville’s convention center located in the heart of downtown. The 2.1 million square foot facility opened in 2013 and was built so that Nashville could host large, city-wide conventions in the downtown area. The mission of the Music City Center is to create significant economic benefit for the citizens of the greater Nashville region by attracting local and national events while focusing on community inclusion, sustainability and exceptional customer service delivered by talented team members.

Nashville Beekeeper Association

The Nashville Area Beekeepers Association(NABA) is a dedicated group of beekeepers in the Nashville area who are eager to encourage and equip those interested in beekeeping.  The Youngbees: a group of young beekeepers aged 7 – 17. The Wannabees: a group of people thinking about keeping bees. This will focus on the practicals of getting your own bees. The Newbees: these are folks that have their own bees but need help getting a handle on the basics and growing their skills. Then of course we have a large and seasoned group of Veteran beekeepers eager to help other beekeepers. This group is well known for their high level of skill, professionalism and dedication to service.

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