Another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic: the annual California Honey Festival, which was scheduled May 2 in historic downtown Woodland.
This year would have been the fourth annual.
But, of course, and rightfully so, the cancellation is for our protection. It needed “not to happen.”
The California Honey Festivalevent, launched in 2017 and sponsored by the City of Woodland and the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, is an all-day, free festival that usually draws a crowd of some 30,000.
The event aims to cultivate an interest in beekeeping, and to educate the public in support of bees and their keepers, according to Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. Through lectures and demonstrations, the festival-goers learn about bees and how to keep them healthy. Major issues facing the bees include pests, pesticides, diseases, malnutrition, and climate changes.
Yes, those major issues still face the bees. But now we humans face a major issue of our own: a deadly virus. We are sheltering-in and social distancing. Bees are social insects and are out foraging for nectar, pollen, propolis and water. Their colony is one huge superorganism, with a queen bee, workers and drones. They all depend on one another to make the hive run smoothly. No queen bee, no colony. No workers, no colony. No drones, no colony.
As of 4:30 p.m. today, Covid-19 has infected more than 1.9 million people, and sadly, more than 118,000 people worldwide have perished, according to Johns Hopkins University. Reportedly, the United States is “nearing the peak right now.”
Stay safe out there!
Author - Communications specialist
Miss Honey Bee (Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program) waves at the crowd at the 2019 California Honey Festival, while a curious youngster wonders what this is all about. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey tasting, compliments of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, is a popular activity at the California Honey Festival, but that will have to wait until next year. Third from left is Amina Harris, director of UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center. In the middle is beekeeper Sharon Schmidt. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Z Specialty Foods of Woodland kept busy at the first three California Honey Festivals. Now the company is offering honey "care packages." The family of Amina Harris, director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, owns and operates the business. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño, shown here with a bee frame at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis, is a key part of the California Honey Festival. This year's event is cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)