This Thursday is “Buzz About Bees Day” at the U of U Farmers Market. Members of the U of U Beekeeper’s Association will be on hand to sample honey and other products straight out of the numerous student-managed hives on campus, and they will be available to answer all your questions about beekeeping and bee-friendly gardening.
The University of Utah Farmers Market is open on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to the campus community as well as the public. The market is located west of the Union. For more information, visit sustainability.utah.edu/resource-center/get-involved/farmers-market.php. The market is open through Oct. 9.
Here’s a round-up of information about additional apian resources on campus and in and around the Salt Lake community:
• Founded in May, 2012, the University of Utah Beekeeper’s Association maintains multiple campus hives that house an upwards of 150,000 honeybees and promotes beekeeping through educational events around the community. Keep an eye on the group’s Facebook page for information on upcoming events and how to join, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Wasatch Beekeepers Association, a local non-profit dedicated to the promotion of beekeeping, meets once a month at the Day-Riverside Library, 1575 W 1000 N, Salt Lake City. Check out its web site for info regarding hive start-up costs, things to think about when considering installing hives on your property, and videos and other multimedia filled with species information, plans for hive construction, and a list of where to buy local honey.
• Did you know that beekeeping within Salt Lake City limits was just made legal in 2009, after having been illegal since the 1980s? Or that some evidence suggests that urban bees produce more honey and over-winter better than their rural counterparts? For this and other local bee facts, check out Sustainable Utah’s “The Buzz on Backyard Beekeeping” blog post.
• Are you curious about what species to plant for a bee-friendly pollinator garden in Utah? Blue mist spirea, fernbush, rabbit brush, pumpkins, cone flower, blanket flower, and sunflower are good bets. For additional ideas, check out the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s tip sheet.
• For about a decade, U.S. bee hives have been struggling with a mysterious affliction known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Hives where CCD is present still have a live queen, but are missing most or all of their other adult bees. Typically there are no honey bee bodies, and honey and immature bees are still present. The Agricultural Resource Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been coordinating research on CCD since the phenomenon was discovered. For a factsheet and CCD-related news archive and updates, check out the USDA’s “’Honey Bees and Colony Collapse Disorder”’ page.
• Bees, always beloved, are the stuff of great literature. Writes poet Isaac Watts: “How doth the little busy bee/ Improve each shining hour / And gather honey all the day / From every shining hour!” Check out Buzz About Bees website for great examples of bees-in-poetry, featuring the words of Rudyard Kipling, Emily Dickinson, Kahlil Gibran and others.