Honeyfest: The Sweetest Festival
Sweet celebration of bees and honey
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Honeyfest is an environmentally-inspired honey festival in Lithopolis, Ohio that kicks off the fall season every year. 2018’s 12th annual Honeyfest will be on September 7th and 8th. At the festival, artists sell bee and honey-themed crafts of all kinds, such as painted glass, jewelry, soaps and scrubs, and t-shirts. Beekeepers can compete in a honey competition, girls can compete in the honey fest queen or princess pageant, there’s a photography competition and a homebrew mead competition, food vendors sell both honey and non-honey related foods, and bands entertain with live music.
Pollination is critical for food production. Over three-quarters of food crops worldwide are at least partially dependent on pollination by insects. However, pollen filled with agricultural chemicals has made bees and other pollinating insects more susceptible to a lethal parasite, resulting in huge losses of honeybee colonies. Honeyfest aims to raise awareness of the threats to bee colonies and the importance of honey bees on crop pollination.
Honey Bake Off
The Honey Bake Off is designed to show every cook how versatile honey is as a baking ingredient. The competition has 7 classes. For classes 1 through 5– Bar Cookies, Drop Form Cookies, Cakes, Pies, Muffins, and Quick Bread– as well as for the 7th class– Munchies– chefs must use honey for 50% of the dish’s sweeteners. For the 6th class– Yeast Bread– honey must be the only sweetener in the dish. A selection of competitors will be chosen to be published in the next edition of Taste of Honey. You can also find tips for using honey in baking recipes on the Honeyfest website.
Honeyfest Queen or Princess
The Princess division is for girls ages 6-12 and the Queen division is for 13-18, and there’s a winner and a 1st runner-up for each. Some of the rules include:
- All contestants must be female
- They must attend other festivals or parades
- They must stay at Honeyfest after the competition
- All princesses must write a story about a honey bee and all queens must write an essay about the importance of the honey bee
- All contestants must attend rehearsal.
There are other rules regarding dress code and regulations.
There are 3 classes. The first two are for adults, and the third is for people ages 17 or younger. The first class is for photos of honey bees in nature, and the second is for photos of beekeepers. The third class accepts bee-related photos like the first and second classes. Each class gets cash prizes, and there are more specific rules about photo presentation.
The Bee Man
Arnold Crabtree is the Bee Man. His interest in bees began in fourth grade and has lasted his whole life. An interview from 2008 by Ginger Brenning reveals more about his background story and is on the Honeyfest website.
Honeyfest in Lithopolis, Ohio relies on volunteers and gives 100% of its funds to operational and promotional costs. The festival aims to prevent honey bee extinction by supporting beekeepers and bringing people together for a sweet celebration of honey.