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Honey Bee Festival - April 27

Erin Grajek

For Immediate Release
April 4, 2013

Contact: Erin Grajek, Director of Marketing

716.827.1584 ext. 204 - egrajek@buffalogardens.com

Celebrate the Honey Bee, an Insect that has Much to Give Us and Much to Teach Us!

Buffalo, NY – The Botanical Gardens announces a Honey Bee Festival featuring Dr. Thomas Seeley on April 27 from 10:00am-2:00pm.  Honey bees are critically important pollinators.  In the course of gathering nectar from flowers, bees transport and disperse pollen in ways that make possible the growth of fruits, nuts, and seeds.  This festival will provide us with insight into what is happening within the beehive, show us the feasibility of beekeeping in our own backyards, and make available for purchase some of the fruits of the labor of honeybees. 

How important are honeybees? Commercial honey bee operations pollinate crops responsible for one out of every three bites of food on our tables. The importance of honey bees makes their precarious status a concern for all of us.  Since 2006 beekeepers across North America have experienced a bewildering phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  Adult bees appear to abandon the hive, leaving the queen and insect larvae behind unable to sustain themselves.  Will we have to find alternative ways to grow much of our food?  What will happen to the price and availability of fruits, nuts, and vegetables?

Although there is intense research to identify and rectify the root causes, the annual die-off of honey bees has become increasingly dramatic.  It is critically important that humans understand what goes on in and around the beehive so we can help stem the tide of honeybee decline and promote re-population.  Honey and beeswax, products of the beehive, enhance our lives in many ways. We need to appreciate that healthy honeybees give us something even more significant as they drift from flower to flower – the pollination of plants essential to our food supply as well as flowers for our enjoyment. 

The festival schedule is as follows: 10am-2pm - Vendors & Demonstrations will include honey bee information, honey and bees’ wax vendors and more!  Learn about the bee hive structure created by UB architecture students housing honeybees in front of the grain elevators near the Ohio Street Bridge.  Gaze as bees tend brood in an observation hive (behind glass).  11am-12pm - Lecture from Dr. Thomas Seeley - Dr. Seeley, a professor at Cornell University, will speak on the subject of his latest book, Honey Bee  Democracy.  The fascinating story of decision-making within the hive is guaranteed to pique your interest.  If you pre-order a copy of the book, purchase one the day of the lecture or bring your personal copy, Dr. Seeley has agreed to do a book signing.  Honey Bee Democracy may be pre-ordered and picked-up at the festival for $25 per copy or purchased the day of the festival for $28 a copy.  1-2pm - Lecture from Barbara Ochterski, Local Beekeeper - Barbara will discuss the basics of backyard beekeeping, followed by an informal question and answers session.

The Honeybee Festival is made possible by the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens and Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners of Erie County.  Tickets for the lectures are $5 Students, $10 Garden Members and Master Gardeners and $15 Non-Members.  The vendors and demonstrations are available to all visitors at no charge.

For more information visit us at www.buffalogardens.com.  The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing appreciation for and knowledge of plant life and its connection to people and cultures through its documented living plant collection, historic conservatory, education, research and exhibits.

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