Hundreds of honeybee enthusiasts, both professional and amateur, are coming to town this weekend for Bee Friendly Frankfort. The event will feature fun events around town Friday and Saturday and a day of workshops Saturday in Bradford Hall on the campus of Kentucky State University, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Even if you don’t keep bees but would like to learn more about this business/hobby you can attend a free Bee School Prequel, new this year, 7:30-8:45 a.m. Saturday in Room 310 of the KSU Student Center.
Members of the Capital City Beekeepers Association (CCBKA) will answer the 10 most frequently asked questions, tell you about beekeeping and how to get started.
Some of those questions are, says CCBKA president John Antenucci: “How much does it cost to get started? How much time does it take? Do I have to buy all the equipment just to get started? Where do I get bees? Is there someone around who can help me get started?”
Then, after you’ve had your questions answered and your interest has been whetted, you may want to consider attending other activities and classes in Bradford Hall.
Other than the free prequel, all other workshops are included in the $30 per person registration fee with a discount for families. A complete schedule of events and pre-registration information can be found by visiting www.ksbabeekeeping.org. Or if you prefer, there’ll be registration at the door.
Those attending the workshops will be given a badge after they’ve paid their registration for admission to the classrooms. There’s no admission to the trade show in the lobby of Bradford Hall.
Antenucci says this is a very exciting, albeit hectic, time for his group, planning and coordinating this event.
“The last couple of years there have been around 400 people participate,” said Antenucci. “They come from all over the state and other states, too.”
Bee Friendly Frankfort is a two-day event, Antenucci says, to encourage people to come to town and stay. The website details all the bee-related activities going on around Frankfort.
“We also hope the people of Frankfort will want to become involved, too,” he said.
To involve local schoolchildren, there’s been the essay contest for elementary, middle and high school students, sponsored by The State Journal; a student art contest sponsored by Wilson Nurseries; and creative beehive painting by students here and in Lexington. Entries in all contests have been received and are being judged.
There are additional activities all week, all over town involving food, drink, entertainment, a beehive hairdo contest and more. Again, the website offers compete details.
The national Bee Queen, Emily Campbell, is in town and will be involved in numerous activities. She is from Aitkin, Minn., and is a freshman at the University of Minnesota-Crookston, where she is pursuing a degree in large animal veterinary medicine. She is also a first-generation beekeeper, keeping bees as a hobby.
“All in all, I think we have a great weekend planned,” said Antenucci, “one that will feature a lot of fun activities and offer the opportunity for serious learning and idea exchange.”