Did you know that honey bees pollinate one third of our food, and they only produce a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime? Did you also know honey is a great natural energy booster? Come learn these and more exciting facts about honey bees at a free event by the Lehigh Valley Beekeepers Association, great for all ages, held rain or shine, on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pool Wildlife Sanctuary, 3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus.
Youngsters of all ages can experience role playing inside and outside the beehive in the fun and educational game ”Imagine Me... A Busy, Busy Honey Bee.” Children will receive honey sticks and coloring books.
Observe a working observation hive with the Queen Bee going about her business laying eggs, as well as local beekeepers explaining their equipment. Hourly from 12 to 3 p.m., beekeepers will demonstrate the extraction of raw honey from the hive. Fresh, raw honey bottled directly from the honey extractor and other honey byproducts will be available for sale. Tours to an onsite apiary will also be given.
In the afternoon, the 2015 Pennsylvania Honey Queen, Jessica Onstead, will be on hand to spread the buzz about honey bees. Jessica, 22, is the daughter of Stephen Onstead and Fritz Onstead of Somerset. She graduated from Somerset Area High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and recently graduated from The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown with a degree in Business Economics. As the 2015 Pennsylvania Honey Queen, Jessica travels throughout the state promoting the beekeeping and honey industries by attending schools, fairs, festivals and participating in media interviews. The Pennsylvania Honey Queen Program is a program of the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association.
Honey bees have sustained farming and gardening for at least 4500 years. Their byproducts have helped to save the lives of our soldiers, with health issues from a sore throat to the trauma of burn victims and in salves used for people and animal health.
The life span of a honey bee in summer is only six to eight weeks, as they fall prey to the everyday turmoil of predators, diseases and the lifestyle of human beings. Honey bees are a perfect gauge of the health of our environment. With the bee industry so vital to all agriculture and gardening, from the small family organic plot to the largest commercial growers that feed much of the world, reality is that 98 percent of all who keep honey bees are backyard beekeepers living in our towns, cities and suburban areas.
The Lehigh Valley Beekeepers Association was founded in 1921 and has a membership of more than 200 beekeepers and gardeners from the Lehigh Valley as well as the surrounding multi-county area. The Association holds classes for beginning beekeepers each winter at LCCC. Monthly meetings are open to the public; learn more by visiting www.Lehighvalleybeekeepers.org.