November 10th 2013
If you’re looking for a multi-media experience that’s both fun and educational for children during your tour of Israel, don’t miss the sweetness of the Bee and Honey Farm. Known in Hebrew as M’Achoray Hadvash, which literally means “behind the honey,” the Bee and Honey Farm is located just a few miles from Ben Gurion Airport in the village of Kfar Chabad. The farm has grown from three hives installed behind glass in the home of founder Rabbi Moshe Schneerson to a 900-hive family project, including a store that sells a wide variety of honey-themed products.
The attraction features Itchele, a character plagued by hay fever. His grandmother Rachel wants to feed him honey to help him feel better, because, as she explains, honey can be used to heal. As the film proceeds, the audience learns all about the productive lives of honey bees and how honey farming works. Jewish values are integrated into the presentation with a light touch.
During the school year, between 10,000 and 15,000 Israeli school children visit the Bee and Honey Farm to watch the movie with Itchele and Rachel and to participate in bee and honey-related activities. Activities include a beeswax candle making workshop, Queen Bee relay races, honeycomb tastings, games that give children a chance to dress up like bees and simulate what bees do in the hive as well as the chance to see a beekeeper working with a living bee hive displayed behind glass.
For an extra fee, groups can bake pita bread, take a ride on a tractor and play in the well-equipped Gymboree area. The Bee and Honey Farm has an eating area, and with its indoor and outdoor activities, the area is perfect for keeping kids happily buzzing for several hours. Each child takes home a certificate of completion for the M’Achoray Hadavash beekeeping program and the beeswax candles they made.
The Bee and Honey Farm hosts school and camp groups during the academic year. The best times to tour the farm with a family group are during the holidays of Pesach, Sukkot and Chanukah or during the summer. The busiest times of year at the Bee and Honey farm are the weeks just before Rosh Hashana, when honey takes center stage.