The Botanical Gardens will be hosting a festival on Saturday, April 27 to celebrate the honey bee and promote awareness of its critical role in our food systems. The Honey Bee Festival will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature several opportunities to learn more about the important work of these little pollinators from the experts.
For the past several years, beekeepers across North America have noticed an increase in the annual die-off of honey bees, due to a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CDC). In these situations, the adult bees are abandoning the queen bees and insect larvae in the hives, making it impossible for them to sustain themselves. This problem could have more significant consequences than one might imagine, as honey bees are responsible for pollinating the crops that make up one third of our meal consumption. We need these little bees to gather nectar from flowers and carry pollens to the plants that provide us with fruits, seeds and nuts.
Visitors to the Honey Bee Festival will get a firsthand look at what happens within the beehive at the festival’s observation hive. There will be honey and bees’ wax vendors, as well as demonstrations and informational booths, including one on the UB architecture students project housing honeybees in front of the grain elevators by the Ohio Street Bridge.
A couple guest lecturers will also be featured. First up is Dr. Thomas Seeley, a Cornell University professor who will discuss his latest book, Honey Bee Democracy, starting at 11 a.m. Dr. Seeley will also do a book signing, with copies available to purchase for $28. Local beekeeper Barbara Ochterski will follow from 1 to 2 p.m. with a discussion on backyard beekeeping with a Q&A session after. These experts will teach you why bees are so critical to our food systems and how feasible it is to keep them in your own backyard.
Tickets to the festival are $5 for students, $10 for Botanical Garden members and Master Gardeners, and $15 for non-members. For more info on the festival, visit www.buffalogardens.com.