The annual Honeybee Festival celebrates Utah’s state symbol the beehive, and its amazing residents, honeybees. The festival features presentations about beekeeping and bee-friendly gardening from local and regional experts, beehive demonstrations, honey tastings, children’s activities, and more. It is free and open to the public.
Honeybees are critical pollinators for a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and nuts in our food supply. In fact, it is estimated that one in three bites of food is dependent on bees in some way. Honeybees of course also directly produce a remarkable food, honey.
Unfortunately, bees are at risk from many human activities, especially land development, loss of habitat, and chemical pesticides. Economic pressures on commercial beekeepers also pose a challenge, thanks to low prices relative to production costs, global competition, and loss of beehives to disease, including the still-mysterious colony collapse disorder.
Luckily, beekeeping is enjoying a wave of new interest among the public. Many cities and towns are revising local laws to make it easier – and in some cases legal in the first place – to keep bees in urban areas. Salt Lake City did so in 2010, making beekeeping legal in the Utah’s capital city.
The fourth annual Slow Food Utah Honeybee Festival was held June 7, 2014 at the Sorenson Unity Center in Salt Lake City. Read more about local beekeeping and the festival in a June 2012 article in the Deseret News, Oh, honey: Utahns helping bees survive by being backyard beekeepers.