The 7th Annual Arizona Honeybee Festival is coming and we can’t wait to share our love of HONEYBEES with our community in the hopes that you will find even more reasons to love them too.
Did you know that there are over 20,000 species of bees in the world? They are vital for the pollination of flowering plants, which in turn, are essential for the survival of our planet. That is a pretty big responsibility and one that we take very seriously. But did you know that not all bees live in colonies and make honey? In fact there are only 7(some say 8) species of bees that fit that bill, and we call them HONEYBEES. And out of those 7 species of HONEYBEES, only one lives in Europe, Africa, Australia, and the entire Western Hemisphere (brought here by the Pilgrims in the 1600’s). The other 6 species of honeybees all live in Asia.
As beekeepers, our main focus is on HONEYBEES because the other bees who live here, we call them native bees, are usually solitary and don’t offer the ability to mass pollinate crops or produce honey. Commercial beekeepers truck millions of beehives around the country to pollinate fields of various crops that could not produce large quantities of fruit without HONEYBEES. Almonds, alfalfa, apples, oranges, squash, and blueberries are some of those crops. Native bees and other pollinators don’t have the mass numbers that a HONEYBEE colony maintains. A single HONEYBEE colony can be as many as 60,000 bees strong. Native bees do not live in those kinds of numbers, so while they do pollinate, they can’t manage crops.
The good news is that what is good for HONEYBEES is also good for native bees. Planting more bee-friendly flowers and decreasing pesticide use are two important practices that make a big difference to all pollinators. Beekeepers advocate for this in all our communities. Building a better environment in our own backyards is a key place we can start.
The Arizona Honeybee Festival will take place Saturday, November 11, 2023 at Paradise Valley Community College from 9 am-3 pm.
Join us to learn more about HONEYBEES and how to help them.
This year we will have even more amazing kids’ activities to teach kids of all ages to appreciate HONEYBEES and next to them will be some impressive bands playing all our favorite tunes. Visit the art gallery to see bee-inspired art and then find a seat in one of our beekeeping classes. You can grab a schedule at the Information Booth at the center of the Festival and you can even try your luck in our ever-popular raffle. Finally, make your rounds through our awesome vendors who all promote bees and beekeeping in some way or another. Oh! and don’t forget to stop by the Beekeeping Education Booth to learn about beekeeping and see some of our tools of the trade.