California Honey Festival: Bee-ing All It Can Bee

You may not be able to get close enough to take a selfie with a honey bee foraging on your flowers, but you'll be able to take a selfie of a bee at the California Honey Festival.

With the costumed bee mascot.

Last year Benji Shade of Woodland Christian High School donned the costume, greeted guests, and posed for photos. And festival goers took selfies with her. "Miss Honey Bee" got into the act, too: she took a selfie with her teacher and festival "escort" Jessica Hiatt.

There will be plenty to photograph at the festival, set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 5 in downtown Woodland. A free, family friendly event sponsored by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center and the City of Woodland, it will include  presentations on honey bees and bumble bees, live music, cooking demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, and a Kids' Zone.  You'll learn from world-class bee garden designer and author Kate Frey on what to plant in your garden to attract bees.  She and Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University authored the award-winning book, The Bee Friendly Garden.

Have you ever watched a beekeeper open a hive? One of the festival highlights: Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, California's state apiculturist, and a member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology faculty, will present three "live" bee demonstrations in the bee tent.  Working in a circular screened tent, Niño will explain exactly how the beehive works. She will show the difference between the queen and the workers and drones, explain how bees draw out wax in the frames and store honey in the cells, talk about how the frames are placed within the hive to maximize the bees' efficiency, and answer questions. Her demonstrations are scheduled for 11:15, 1 p.m. and 3:45 in the bee tent, UC Davis Stage. See complete schedule of events.

The festival was created in 2017 to cultivate an interest in beekeeping, and to educate the public in support of bees and their keepers, said Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center. "Bees face many threats today—it is the goal of the festival to help attendees understand the importance of bees to food diversity in the United States. "

The California Honey Festival's mission is to promote honey, honey bees and their products, and beekeeping. Through lectures and demonstrations, the crowd can learn about bees and how to keep them healthy.  Issues facing the bees include pests, pesticides, diseases, malnutrition, and climate changes.

Festivals are not only entertaining and educational but are happy, fun-filled occasions.

Hey, Miss Honey Bee, can I take a selfie?