The Transylvania Times -

Transylvania County's Honey & Bee Expo Opens Saturday – Brevard NC

 


Everyone is invited to a free festival, the Honey & Bee Expo, on Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Brevard Little Theater. This festival, organized by the Transylvania County Beekeeping Club, is a must for anyone who would like to broaden their understanding and experience of honeybees and support pollinators in general. It’s also a fun event for all the family, with talks, demonstrations, kids’ activities, various vendors, good food, giveaways and more.

Beekeeping is a growing hobby: gardeners, farmers, even folks in urban areas are finding spaces for hives, and there’s a burgeoning horticultural interest in pollinator-friendly plants for the yard, as well as pesticide safety. This event is not just for beekeepers - it’s for the whole family and anyone who cares about plight of pollinators in general, not just honeybees.

Said Maryann Mickewicz of the local Cooperative Extension, “We also want to provide educational opportunities for all ages and information for people who are thinking about maybe becoming beekeepers. And it’s a chance to let people know about our thriving local beekeeping club and supply store.”

The Expo will have three different kinds of demonstration hives: an actual beehive (fear not - it’s carefully screened off !) which a beekeeper will be opening up to give a real sense of what it’s like working the bees; a simple glass-sided frame where you watch the bees and try to find the queen, and finally a “teaching hive,” with fake innards to give a very clear picture of how a hive operates.

People have different reactions to insects and the garden — from fascination to fear. Getting close to live bees and learning about their intricate life cycle helps allay the anxiety people can feel about bees. There will be plenty of fun activities for children, too, such as creating honeybee fans and headband antennae, painting decorative items and making pipe-cleaner bees, as well as face-painting and a fun-foto-feature.

At 10:30 a.m. Tim Burrell, of Rabbit Hill Bee Company in Franklin, will talk about “Rearing Queen Bees.” Did you know queen bees are shipped all over the country to needy beekeepers who are maybe just setting up their first hive, or whose queen needs replacing or who has died for any of myriad reasons?

At 11:30 a.m. Lewis Cauble, WNC apiary inspector for the Dept. of Agriculture, will speak about “The State of the Honey Bee” - a good catch-up from a man with the statistics.

At 12.30 p.m. R.K. Young, native plant advocate, will present “Protect-ing Pollinators in a Time of Climate Change” - a highly informative talk for all gardeners and those interested in the future of our food supply.

The queen, for example, can lay from 1,000 to 2,000 eggs every day from March/April through mid-October. Then something strange happens: bees normally live from six-seven weeks, but bees born in fall become over-wintering bees, and live from four-six months through to the next spring. What kind of metabolic secret is that!

Various local beekeepers will have honey and honey-related items for sale, and those who fancy themselves with a more discerning palate can enter the Honey Tasting Contest, including real spring honey from the tulip poplar and blackberry flowers, real summer honey from the sourwoods, and varieties in between.

All kinds of useful equipment will be available from Bee Cool Bee Supply. Besides stalwart members of the club such as Allen Frost and other experts will be on hand ready to help with advice on what plants to use and what to avoid. Colonial Acres Nursery will be selling pollinator-friendly plants, and of course the Master Gardeners will also have plants and seeds for sale.

Crafts include Nancy’s Stained Glass & Crafts, and Everyday Oil Essentials, Brevard’s own Chameleon Catering will offer an innovative and tasty take on food truck fare.

Sponsors to date include: Comporium, Ty Hendrix Investment Management Inc., Carolina Farm Credit, Healthy Harvest Natural Foods, EXIT Mountain Realty, March Insurance Group, Transylvania Cattle-men’s Association, Raines Garage, The Cabinet Shoppe and Mountain Man Tile.

Find more information on the Transylvania County Beekeepers Club on its Facebook page Transyl-vania Co Bee Club 2016 EXPO, or come to the September meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Community Services Building located at 98 E. Morgan St. in Brevard. The topic is “Winterizing Your Beehives.”

 
 

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