One hundred years ago, beehives were abundant. If you had a farm, which many Americans did, you had bees. Some people even paid their yearly rent in wax. Then, before synthetics and electric lights, beeswax was an important technology and an essential part of homestead living. These days the majority of honey bees in the U.S. are used commercially, transported across the country, pollinating fields like seasonal workers—here today, gone tomorrow. But Ypsilanti bee activist Jamie Berlin is trying to keep the bees here today and tomorrow. Berlin proudly celebrates the third annual Festival of the Honey Bee, which began with a mission to increase public awareness about honey bees and the role they play in our food systems.
This year’s Festival promises three days of hailing to the honey bee. Friday kicks off the weekend with the First Fridays Ypsilanti Art Walk, featuring bee art at participating locations for the month of September. Saturday is about education. Activities and demonstrations, discussions and lectures will be hosted at the downtown library. Sunday features the Bike2Bees urban hive bike tour and the Bee Bazaar vendor fair, both based at ABC Microbrewery (formerly the Corner Brewery). The bike tour departs and ends at the brewery and features different hive styles with bee yard sites changing year to year. The route is under 5 miles and intended for all fitness levels.
More information in the Festival of the Honey Bee’s Facebook page.