Over 40 LCBA volunteers "talked bees" with hundreds of visitors each day of the Fair. Our exhibit featured our observation hive, honey judging contest, People's Choice Honey Tasting vote, & lots of demonstration materials & educational displays.
Above, visitors were again fascinated by Kevin & Jeanne Reichert's & Grant Inmon's wild honey bee hive & paper wasp nest display, which helped us show the public the difference between these two!
PLANTING FOR POLLINATORS FOCUS
This year, LCBA partnered with our county Master Gardeners and Noxious Weed Control Board to share a special focus on “Planting for Pollinators.” We gave out 500 Burpee’s Bee and Butterfly Garden seed packets donated by the National Park Service, as well as the Weed Board’s “Bee-utify” seed mix.
Above, LCBA's "planting for pollinators" display table with free Burpees Bee & Butterfly Garden seeds; below, Lewis County Noxious Weed Board director Bill Wamsley with LCBA volunteer Judy Kalich reviewing noxious invasives to eradicate from one's garden. For more info, click here to visit our Plant for Bees page.
Over the course of the week, more than 40 LCBA volunteers pitched in to share our love of honey bees with Lewis County neighbors, answering questions about honey bee behavior in our observation hive (a magnet for kids of all ages), helping visitors get hands-on to learn how our (bee-less) Langstroth and top bar hives worked, and showing story-boards of swarm captures and carve-outs as we got the word out that a homeowner’s unwanted barn bees can become a new beekeeper’s cared-for colony. We were struck by how concerned the public has become about honey bees, and quite a few signed up for our “how to get started in beekeeping” orientation this September.
Above, LCBA volunteer Cody Warren shows young visitors the queen in the observation hive.
A big THANK YOU goes out to our volunteers who loaned gear & volunteered in our booth. Community Outreach Coordinator Dan Maughan shared the organizing work with secretary Susanne Weil & even got his kids in on the act: they're pictured below on a break on setup day:
Above, to help the public see where beekeepers keep bees, Dan loaned his hand-tooled Langstroth hive (screened bottom board, deep, super, inner cover, telescoping cover, plus sample frames with drawn comb), a well as a home-made nucleus hive box, bottom board, and migratory cover so that people could see the difference.
Above, LCBA volunteer Grant Inmon explaining how the Langstroth hive works to a visitor to our exhibit; below, LCBA Mentorship Coordinator Martin Stenzig with a visitor to the Langstroth hive:
Above, Gottfried Fritz loaned his top bar hive and wrote detailed explanations of how all its assorted parts worked; Gottfried also brought in a taster of cut-comb honey for visitors to enjoy. Below, Gottfried with visitors:
Above, Mel Grigorich loaned his classic old hand-crank extractor and stand; Peter Glover & Susanne loaned hot knife, uncapping fork, uncapping stand, and food grade bucket to round out the "extraction" part of our display.
Nancy Toenyan made a special display board explaining the difference between normal and genuinely dangerous allergic sting reactions.
Sharette and Tim Giese loaned their display boards of honey bee biology and behavior, as well as their display of actual "Gifts of the Hive" that includes not only honey, but beeswax and jars of pollen and royal jelly in various forms. Art and Debra Sporseen loaned a beautiful sample of wild comb in a jar, along with raw honey from some of that wild comb.
Dan Maughan loaned his swarm capture bucket and a sample of wild comb woven into a fir tree branch, above.
Kevin & Jeanne Reichert & Grant Inmon again loaned the amazing wild hive and paper wasp nest display - above- that hangs over our exhibit and draws so many people into the Floral Building. Jeanne's story board that explained the process by which Kevin and Grant captured this hive helped volunteers explain it to visitors.
Above, thanks go to LCBA President Norm Switzler, shown above with visitors, who loaned his bees in the observation hive that fascinated literally hundreds of people each day who had never seen honey bees in a hive doing their daily jobs.
Thanks, too, to the National Honey Board, which loaned us all those great honey brochures and recipe cards to give away (above).
Our LCBA members who helped set up and volunteered in the booth, sharing their knowledge of bees and passion for keeping them, made our exhibit a truly energetic draw. Thanks go to (in alphabetical order): Chuck Ament; Rick Battin; Gordon Bellevue; Ron Black; John Blacklaw; Ed Carter and Sue Allen; Debbi Cornell; Pamela Daudet; Gottfried Fritz; Jana and Janelle Girt; Peter Glover; Linda Gorremans; Mel Grigorich; Mike Helms; Steve Howard; Grant and Diane Inmon; Judy Kalich; Jason and Maria Key; Dan Maughan; Linda Newton; Ed Odell; Terrie and Michaela Phillips; Kyle Pratt; Kevin & Jeanne Reichert; Vicki Sloan; Martin Stenzig; Norm Switzler; Kimo Thielges; Jacob Thompson; Nancy Toenyan; Cody and Linnea Warren; Susanne Weil: Doug Williams; Phil Wilson; Walt Wilson. Also, special thanks are due to Mary Jo Christiansen (Master Gardeners) and Bill Wamsley (Noxious Weed Control Board) for help coordinating our displays.
Above, LCBA volunteer Chuck Ament with young visitors to the top bar hive. Below, LCBA Treasurer Rick Battin answering questions about bees in the observation hive:
Above, Rick & friends at the observation hive; below, Queen Bee Michaela & mom Terrie won ribbons for their honey & volunteered in our exhibit:
Above, LCBA volunteers Mel Grigorich, Linda Gorremans, & Harold Mullins with young visitors to the observation hive.
LCBA's People's Choice Honey Tasting:
A highlight of LCBA's weekend at the Fair was our People's Choice Honey Tasting exhibit: this drew over 500 visitors, who sampled 21 raw local honeys and marveled at the range of colors & flavors.
Above, our display before opening on Saturday; below, we got busy fast!
Above, our busy tasting station; below, LCBA volunteer Mike Helms discussing flavors with tasters:
Above, LCBA volunteer Mike Helms with visitors. Many had never tasted natural, raw maple, clover, blackberry, wildflower, or fireweed honeys. LCBA Community Outreach Coordinator Dan Maughan even brought a carrot honey that tastes like its floral origin!
Above, the hands-down top vote-getter was longtime beekeeper & LCBA vice president Kevin Reichert’s honey pulled after his girls had worked marionberries ~ the flavor, many commented, had a wine-like note.
These honeys inspired many visitors to take the seed packets we’d placed at the end of the tasting line to plant in support of our Lewis County bees.
Above, LCBA President Norm Switzler talking with some young honey tasters.
Above, honey after judging in the official Fair contest; below, Education Coordinator Peter Glover & Secretary Susanne Weil judging the honey:
Below, LCBA member Steve Howard won the Best in Show for his light amber honey:
Above, LCBA member & 2nd year beekeeperJennifer Reiman took the blue ribbon for her cut comb honey; below, 2015 LCBA Youth Scholarship student Jana Girt displays her first ever spun honey, which won a red:
Above, Jana helps visitors find the queen; below, a young visitor listens to the buzzing of bees in the observation hive's side ventilation portal:
The observation hive is a magnet for kids of all ages!
Above, LCBA volunteers Harold Mullins & Richelle Johnson with a young visitor.
Above, volunteer Linda Newton shows vistitors how to find the queen; below, LCBA VP Kevin Reichert doing the same:
Above, LCBA volunteer Kyle Pratt with a visitor; below, volunteer Nancy Toenyan:
Above, volunteers John Blackwell & Linda Newton at the observation hive; below, Gordon Bellevue, Walt Wilson, & Harold Mullins with visitors:
Above, can you spot the queen? Below, closeup of queen in observation hive (photo, Richelle Johnson):
Above, LCBA volunteer Jacob Thompson with visitors at the observation hive. Below, one of our youngest visitors, baby Ellie, with her mom Theresa: