November 4, 2009, 3:49 pm
A Bountiful Buzz
By Elisabeth Goodridge
A new type of visitor came to the National Mall this year, flitting past monuments and museums in favor of trees, flowers and plants. But this wasn’t just some horticultural tour; no, this was work. Each day they were abuzz, gathering and pollinating before returning home to modest quarters with tremendous security near Lafayette Park.
Meet the White House honeybee.
Numbering more than 65,000 at one point, the bees produced a bumper crop of honey this year, the first time honey has ever been made on White House grounds. The hive, located on the South Lawn, is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s organic kitchen garden project.
The total haul was 134 pounds of honey, or roughly 11 gallons. Charlie Brandts, the White House beekeeper, couldn’t be more pleased. “I figured they would make 30 or so pounds of honey,” he said. “They surprised me.”