MISSOULA – The first Missoula Honey Harvest Festival will top off “the week of the bee” at the University of Montana. The festival is a free, community event that will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, on the UM Oval.
Participants will be able to taste and purchase local honey and honey products, observe bees in a glass hive, learn about bees and beekeeping, and meet local beekeepers and bee equipment providers. They also can try building beehives or participate in a honey auction for charity.
The festival runs in conjunction with two bee-related academic conferences being held at the University. The 37th Annual Western Apicultural Society Conference and the second International Conference on Hive and Honeybee Monitoring will be held at UM Sept. 17-20.
“The conferences will provide great information to beekeepers and researchers, but the Honey Harvest Festival will be a fun celebration of the honey bee and local beekeepers,” said Jerry Bromenshenk, a UM bee scientist and instructor of the UM School of Extended & Lifelong Learning’s Online Beekeeping Certificate Program. “This is a great chance for those who are interested in beekeeping to meet folks who can help them get started.”
UM chemistry Professor Garon Smith will entertain and educate kids as his wizardly alter-ego G. Wiz., and American Honey Princess Elena Huffman from Pennsylvania will be on hand as well.
“Some say she’s the queen bee,” Bromenshenk said with a laugh.