We are just weeks away from your Rockwood Park Backyard Beekeeping Association’s (RPBBA) 11th Annual Honey Bee Festival.
Wow, think back to pre-COVID when we presented our last Honey Bee Festival. Thousands of people visited Rockwood Park Nature Center to learn about honeybees from our Buzz Talk speakers, our Bee Smart Stations and the variety of educational demonstrations. We were delighted that many RPBBA partner organizations joined us in advancing our mission. We all loved the family fun radiating from the variety of activities in the Children’s Area, the wonderful music filling the air from the Bee Flats, and the tremendous variety of vendor products related to our mission. The wide variety of delicious baked goods and the many food trucks along with the fantastic comments and wide smiles guests left us with deep gratitude as we packed up for the day. Comments included:
“Our favorite Richmond festival”
“Thank you, thank you, thank you — my kids loved it”
“We’ve been coming for years”
“I learned so much and spent even more”
“Cool, I realized I can be a beekeeper simply by the choices I make about my yard and the food I eat”
You, RPBBA members, have so much to be proud about. And did we talk about the thousands of seedlings that you have given away over the years that are now grand pollinator trees in our community? Or, the hundreds of people that RPBBA has introduced to beekeeping? Bee Loud, Bee Proud, your club is making a big difference!
Things are falling into place and June 25th will be another great day for our club and our mission. We still have a lot to do and need every member on deck to continue to produce an even better festival each year. There are so many ways to be involved and we hope you will find ways to contribute.
This is your club’s main activity during the year. Therefore, we ask every member to volunteer in some way:
give your gift of time and talent in advance of the festival, (for Friday night set-up, the day of the Festival or any combination);
there are activities for new beekeepers all the way to the most experienced beekeepers;
invite friends and family to sign-up as a volunteer and join you (we have many activities that someone with little to no knowledge of honey bees can assist)
You will work hard, but will also have a lot of fun doing it and we will deepen our relationship with our fellow beekeepers. I have personally made so many valuable contacts by working side by side with other beekeepers. By volunteering and advancing the mission of this club, I am not shy about asking other club members questions or for assistance! Volunteering has definitely made me a better beekeeper.
PLEASE SIGN-UP HERE and remember to ask your family and friends too. Our 11th annual HBF volunteers will Bee Loud and Bee Proud in their free tee shirts which will identify them to our Festival guests!
Calling All Bakers (or you can buy water if you can’t bake)
The RPBBA Bake Sale Tent is a major source of funds that allows our club to produce the HBF each year. Please assist us by baking a few things that can be sold at the RPBBA Bake Sale Tent during the HBF this year. Can’t bake, how about donating a case of water? Cookies, cakes, pies or whatever you want to bake. It’s best not to provide anything baked goods requiring refrigeration or that may melt in the heat. You may provide the baked goods whole or you can place them in individual snack bags ready for sale. Please label the baked goods (molasses cookies, apple pie, blueberry scones, etc.) so that they can be easily displayed. Baked goods and water can be dropped at Rockwood Park Nature Center on Friday night or Saturday morning during HBF set-up or through special arrangement. Many thanks to Alice and Walt McIntyre who are once again leading this awesome effort for our club. wtoyboy12 or (804) 271-9623.
Loan Pop-Up Tents and Folding Tables
Our many educational demonstrations and club areas require more tables and pop-ups than RPBBA has access to (all vendors are responsible for their own equipment). SIGN-UP TO LOAN EQUIPMENT HERE Please label your loaner pop-ups and tables with your full name and telephone number. Please also label the storage containers they come in. The Operations team will treat them as they are their own.
Would You Like Your Capped Honey Extracted?
Once again this year the Education team will be conducting the always popular Honey Extraction Demonstration inside the Nature Center. To do this however, we need members to provide supers of capped honey to be extracted and returned to them. If interested in having your honey expertly extracted, please SIGN-UP HERE and additional details regarding the process will be provided.
We Can’t Have a Drone Petting Zoo Without You
An especially busy Education area each year is the Drone Petting Zoo where children (and their parents) learn about honey bees by having an opportunity to handle drone bees, which do not sting. To do this we need many beekeepers to collect drone bees from their hives the morning of the Festival and bring them to the Education team. If you might be able to help provide Drones and make many children happy, please SIGN-UP HERE and additional details regarding the process will be provided.
Know a Vendor with a Product Related to Your Clubs Mission?
We still have a few vendor spaces available. Have them go to https://rockwoodbeekeepers.com/hbf-vendor-info/ and complete an application. We will close the registration once all spaces are taken.
Bee Loud, Bee Proud on Your Social Media and the Places You Visit
People are always surprised that Volunteers produce a festival of this quality. Bee Loud, Bee Proud and
Your assistance with this is a huge part of our Publicity campaign.
As I see this Festival coming together, I am in awe of the creativity and hard work being done by so many RPBBA members to make your 11th Annual Honeybee Festival a success. Thank you! Get involved if you’re not already and have some fun. And Bee Loud, Bee Proud, you deserve to!!