June 21st of each year marks the changing of seasons with the occurrence of the summer solstice. The longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, happens when the north half of the planet is tilted more closely towards the sun. This gives us longer, warmer days, as we’re slightly closer to our source of light and heat. We enjoy this, and so do our bees!
The Eastern Shore Summer Solstice
On the shore, the sun rises early and sets late during the height of the summer. Thanks to the vast open waterways, we often have an unobstructed view of the sunrises and sunsets. On the summer solstice, the day gets longer the further north you venture-somewhere in Alaska would have a 21+ hour day, while here in Maryland the sun hangs around for 15 (ish) hours). We can’t really complain thought, since the days in the winter are only around 9 hours long.
During these warm months and long days, our fields come alive. Near the house, huge swaths of yarrow, mints, salivas and coneflowers start blooming in May and June. This gives the bees a huge source of food, especially when combined with the acres of meadows and wooded areas all around the property. Without these flowers, we wouldn’t be able to share our Spring and Autumn Honey with you all! These blossoms also make for a pretty spectacular view!
Historically, the summer solstice marked a time of celebration. Ancient civilizations in the Americas and Europe built structures to mark the time, like Stonehenge in the UK and the numerous ancient stone circles and earthen formations around the United States. These structures often aligned with the sun and moon on specific days throughout the year, and were most likely used as a sort of calendar.
Some religions, mostly earth-centric ones, performed rituals around the time of the solstice. Fires were lit and feasts were held to mark the longest day of the year. As June was named after the goddess of protection and luck, Juno, this time also became popular for weddings. This is perhaps one of the longest standing midsummer traditions that we still actively partake in till this day. June also normally has pretty nice weather, so that’s always a bonus for outdoor ceremonies!
A Final Note
Midsummer marks the perfect time to treat your skin to our Summer Ritual. Since you’re probably spending a lot more time outside, you’ll need to take special care of your skin. This ritual features a combination of products that help to moisturize and exfoliate the skin while delivering a dose of much needed nutrients thanks to the berry ingredients. When you’re outside, always be sure you use your sunscreen!
This summer, make sure you keep sharing your Bee Inspired images with us on Instagram. We love seeing what you’re up to!