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An important pollinator, honey bees contribute more than $14 billion annually to U.S. agriculture, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "One mouthful in three of the foods you eat directly or indirectly depends on pollination by honey bees. Crops from nuts to vegetables and as diverse as alfalfa, apple, cantaloupe, cranberry, pumpkin, and sunflower all require pollinating by honey bees," the USDA's website states.
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Pigeon Mountain honey, produced by Pigeon Mountain Trading Company, comes from hives of the owner.

LaFayette City Manager David Hamilton says the city needs to create an identity.

"We need something that we have that's ours that instills pride and creates pride and is a claim to fame," he told the City Council during its most recent meeting. "South Pittsburg, Tennessee, has the Cornbread Festival. It brings pride there. Winchester has an Apple Festival. Chickamauga has Down Home Days. There's not a Honey Bee Festival."

Hamilton said there is excitement with honey bees locally and he wants to build on that.

"We have a business [Pigeon Mountain Trading Company] in town that sells honey bees," he said. "We could have a fair and live music of some sort and a honey-themed baking contest. It's something we could get a lot of community involvement in. I think part of the fun will be figuring out and getting involvement from the community. Pigeon Mountain would be willing to volunteer their time and help plan this thing."

The council unanimously approved the idea. Hamilton said springtime is the ideal time to host the festival, as May is a big month for honeybees.

"I feel like honey can be symbolic of more," Councilman Ben Bradford said. "It's an all-natural sweetener that people use. We are going back all natural. I think it's pretty awesome. If we're going to do something and make it cool, then we've got to get behind it; let our local stakeholders be a part of it."

According to Hamilton, Pigeon Mountain already has the resources in place to help make the event a success.

"I feel confident we will have people step forward to help," said Hamilton.

To learn more about Pigeon Mountain Trading Company, visit facebook.com/PigeonMountainTrading/?fref=ts.

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