35 LCBA volunteers fielded questions from a steady stream of visitors ~ it's terrific that so many people realize bees need our help & want to learn what they can do! Scroll down for photos...
Below, Kevin & Jeanne Reichert's & Grant Inmon's wild honey bee hive & paper wasp nest ~ a magnet that drew curious onlookers to our booth ~ won a special "Best in Show' award. Special thanks to Kevin & Jeanne for their work mounting this on set up day, when it was 100 degrees in the Floral Building!
LCBA's Exhibit, Visitors & Volunteers
Here's to our volunteers! We had a great time answering questions. A special highlight was our observation hive, starring 3 different sets of bees from our president Norm Switzler's apiary:
Above, LCBA mentor Kent Yates helps youngsters find the queen bee on Children's Day; below, Michaela, our youngest volunteer, helps a friend find the royal lady:
Above, LCBA President Norm Switzler answers visitors' questions on bee behavior on National Honey Bee Day, Saturday, August 16. Bees stayed in the observation hive for about 48 hours at a time & then were returned to their home colony. Many thanks to President Norm for the care he took to ensure we'd have vigorous bees & a strong queen in the hive each day.!
Below, new member Bob Lloyd with a family fascinated by the bees:
Above, new member Dan Maughan answers questions about his Langstroth demonstration hive ~ the classic "bee box" that preserves 19th century minister Lorenzo Langstroth's concept of "bee space" - 3/8 of an inch - the optimum distance between frames that encourages bees to build comb without bridging comb (of course, bees don't read the books....); below, LCBA member Gordon Bellevue answers questions about the observation hive from Dan's family:
Above, visitor Darren listens to the humming of the bees through a screened ventilation port in the observation hive; below, LCBA treasurer Rick Battin captures a bee who flew in from a fairground hive in a water bottle:
Above, LCBA volunteer Linda Newton helps a young visitor open a honey stick - LCBA gave these away to children till they ran out :) Below, LCBA Youth Scholarship student Joevanie Montalvo shows visitors how to find the queen in the observation hive:
Above, LCBA volunteers Sue Allen & Ed Carter (center - Ed's wearing the LCBA cap) answer questions about the observation hive; below, volunteer Gottfried Fritz answer questions. Gottfried brought fresh comb honey for visitors to taste - as well as a microscope through which they could view honey bee comb close up!
Above, first year beekeeper & swarm / colony removal veteran Janet Opsitnick fields questions at the observation hive; below, member Linda Gorremans and grandchildren watching the bees. . . .
Above, mason bee expert Kimo Thielges takes questions; below, first year beekeeper Nancy Toenyan staffed the booth on her first day back from working as support on the Carlton Complex Fire:
Above, new member Lorna Shelton gives a small visitor a leg up to see a beautiful Carniolan queen bee; below, Rick Battin's Carniolan queen - not our observation hive star, but Rick's photo gives a much better idea of what our visitors saw than your webmistress could shoot through the glass! All 3 of Norm's observation hive queens, on view in succession through the week, atracted strong retinues like this one, showing how much the queen appeals to her colony:
Above, LCBA member Mike Helms talks bees with a visitor while Lorna strums Trevor Smith's guitar; below, new members Trevor & mom Amie talk with People's Choice honey tasting visitors:
Above, LCBA member Melanie Case with visitors; below, longtime beekeeper Mel Grigorich helps a family spot baby bees hatching from comb:
Above, ace queen finder Sierra with first year beekeepers Grubby & Marnel Groebner; below, Rick Battin & visitor ~ here you can see how many bees were in the observation hive!
Above, Bob Lloyd donned his bee suit to help draw visitors; below, when it got awfully hot, intrepid Sierra took this on (with pants legs duct-taped):
We didn't get questions about just bees: above, Membership Coordinator & Youth Scholarship Program coordinator Tomme Trikosko answers Sierra's questions about her catocala relicta moth after helping Sierra identify the moth using online search tools.
LCBA's exhibit had quite a few new demonstration items this year. Above, laminated cards helped visitors identify the different castes of bees; below, sample queen cells brought in by Jeanne & Kevin Reichert:
Above, ribbon-winning honey in the Fair's contest; below, visitors celebrated National Honey Bee Day by sampling 16 varieties of local raw honey at LCBA's "People's Choice" tasting:
Congratulations to our 2014 Honey Contest Winners! LCBA hosted 2 contests - the official Fair judging & the "People's Choice" contest. Scroll down for details & pictures!
Above, new LCBA member Dan Maughan's honey was awarded a special best in class ribbon by the Agricultural judges for its rich color.
The Official Fair Honey Contest
The following LCBA members' honey won ribbons in the official Fair contest, judged by Roy Schaafsma:
Dave Gaston (2 entries)
Sharette & Tim Giese
Dave Gaston (2 entries - dark & light)
Linnea Warren (chunk honey)
Above, Michaela Phillips won a blue ribbon for the honey she harvested at the end of her first year keeping bees. Michaela painted her hives, inspected her bees, & spun her own honey with a little help from her family: 3 generations of beekeepers!
Above, first year beekeeper Linnea Warren with her blue ribbon chunk honey; below, Dave Gaston's blue ribbon dark amber comb honey - a sight most visitors had never seen. . . .
People's Choice Honey Tasting Contest Winners:
1st Place - A Tie Between:
Dave Gaston & Kevin Reichert
2nd Place: Sharette & Tim Giese
3rd Place: Don Hershey
Thanks to all others who entered their honey:
Peter Glover & Susanne Weil
Nancy & Mark Toenyan
Above, Kevin Reichert displays his People's Choice 1st place honey, a stunning marionberry whose flavor many tasters thought savored almost of wine (photo, Jeanne Reichert); below, Dave Gaston, whose dark amber wildflower honey tied with Kevin's, is pictured answering questions at the observation hive:
Above, Roy Schaafsma evaluating Linnea Warren's chunk honey in the official Fair contest; below, Peter Glover, assisting, operates the refractometer, which measures moisture levels of honey. Honey over 18.6% moisture is too liquid to qualify as true honey.
Below, the refractometer in action:
Happy tasters on National Honey Bee Day enjoying People's Choice honey entries:
Above, VP Dave Gaston's handmade light box helped visitors see the difference between commercial honey & raw honey. Raw honey's cloudiness reveals that its pollen has not been heated & filtered out of existence. This "pollen signature" makes the honey's origin traceable. Below, LCBA member Steve Howard gives an impromptu lecture on the topic, holding the raw honey aloft so visitors could see the difference:
Above, pamphlets about the nature & origins of honey ~ as well as recipe booklets ~ generously donated by the National Honey Board; below, Little Miss Friendly & Michaela with Michaela's prize honey:
Above, President Norm with curious children.
Above, Mel Grigorich's extractor & Dave Gaston's top bar hive gave visitors a chance to learn about how honey is spun & about natural alternatives to the Langstroth hive; below, a close-up of Dave's hand-tooled top bar hive:
Below, visitors view the natural comb which bees build in the top bar hive without needing support from plastic or wax foundation:
Above, a newly hatched bee on Dan Maughan's demonstration frame on Monday, set up day ~ when the temperature hit 100, baby bees began hatching out, but had no nurse bees to tend them. Below, LCBA Secretary Susanne Weil feeding honey to these new bees, who went home to be tended in one of her & Peter's hives:
Above, a close-up view of Kevin & Jeanne Reichert's & Grant Inmon's remarkable wild hive, contrasted by the paper wasp nest (potentially the angriest pinata you ever saw!)