The Jewish New Year for plants and trees will be celebrated Wednesday with traditional plantings; this year will see concerted efforts to save rapidly dwindling honeybee population from extinction; ‘Plant nectar sources,’ says head of Honey Production and Marketing Board.
Yedioth writers|Published: 01.30.18

Thousands of Israelis will be planting trees in forests and urban spaces nationwide Wednesday, in honor of Tu B’Shevat, which is a sort of New Year celebration for trees and plants.

This year, however, plantings will carry special significance: saving the honey and bee sector.

According to apiculture experts, the chief reason for bees’ gradual disappearance is that their primary sources of food—flowers and trees from which they can produce nectar—are becoming scarcer.

Tu B’Shevat this year, then, is going to focus on thousands of nectar producing trees and shrubbery—known as “nectar source” in professional parlance. The special project was born of cooperation between Keren Kayemet LeYisrael (KKL), the Honey Production and Marketing Board, local authorities, the IDF and other bodies.

The trees at the heart of the effort to save the bees are carob trees, Judas trees, Syrian Ash trees, Christ’s thorn jujubes, common almond trees, Ben trees and other species.

According to the Director of the Honey Production and Marketing Board, Ze’ev Meidan, “The honey bee is responsible for pollinating 80 percent of the world’s agricultural crops. It’s important for everyone to plant nectar sources in their private gardens as well as in the coming organized Tu B’Shevat plantings.”

“Each nectar source plant will assist in creating food for honeybees, thereby contributing to both the agriculture and food production industries’ continued survival.”

In anticipation of Tu B’Shevat, the Central Bureau of Statistics published data tracing the origins of the holiday’s customary dried fruits.

In 2017, the data showed, coconuts and cashews were imported mostly from Vietnam; pineapples, guavas, mangoes, figs and dates from the Dominican Republic and Turkey; dried grapes from South Africa; loquats, lychees, persimmons and kiwi from New Zealand; and melons from Paraguay.

Eitan Glickman, Gad Lior, Israel Moskowitz, Meir Turgeman and Lior El-Chai contributed to this report.,7340,L-5078312,00.html