Curious about the logistics that go into creating honey’s sweet sticky goodness? Join the Transylvania Beekeeping Club for its inaugural Honey and Bee Expo at Brevard Little Theater on Saturday, Sept. 10. The family-friendly event will include bee-focused activities for the kiddos, demonstrations, educational speakers and samplings of Pooh bear’s favorite edible.
The club created the event, a collaboration with the Transylvania Cooperative Extension, to raise pollinator awareness, promote local beekeeping and dismantle any stigma or fear associated with honeybees. The role of pollinators is paramount to our food systems, and attendees they can learn how to support bee populations by planting pollinator-friendly plants and exercising pesticide safety both in their home gardens and food choices.
Local beekeepers will be on-site peddling their honey, which has been cultivated from the tulip poplar and blackberry flowers of spring and the sourwoods of summer. Discerning palates can compete in a honey-tasting contest to try detecting subtle flavor differences.
Those curious about keeping their own bees will have the opportunity to chat with local beekeepers and witness what goes into maintaining a hive. Three demonstration hives will be available, including a full working hive. Bee Cool Bee Supply of Pisgah Forrest will be available to discuss the equipment and tools necessary to embark upon a beekeeping journey. “If you are thinking of starting in the spring, this is a great opportunity to learn about urban beekeeping,” says Irene Timmins of the Transylvania Beekeeping Club.
Speakers include Lewis Cauble, Western North Carolina Apiary Inspector, presenting “The State of the Honey Bee,” and R.K. Young, a native-plant advocate who will speak about “Protecting Pollinators in a Time of Climate Change.” Tim Burrell of Rabbit Creek Bee Co. in Franklin will present “Rearing Queen Bees.” Other demonstrations will allow attendees to learn about the bee lifecycle and the careful crafting of the liquid gold, which the bees cultivate as their food source.
Chameleon Catering of Brevard will have food for sale, and a number of other vendors will offer locally made art, crafts and natural goods. Children’s activities will consist of face painting, fun photos and crafting antennae headbands and pipe-cleaner bees.
“We want to provide educational opportunities for all ages and information for people who are thinking about maybe becoming beekeepers,” says Maryann Mickewicz of the Transylvania Cooperative Extension. “And it’s a chance to let people know about our thriving local beekeeping club and supply store.”