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Kentucky Backyard Beekeepers continue to educate, provide honey

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In the past three years, the Kentucky Backyard Beekeepers have greatly expanded our activities at the Grant County Fair.
From just a few honey entries, we’ve offered a full honey show with categories in various grades of honey, hive products, food, art and crafts.
With the enthusiastic support of the fair board in providing space in the Dills Building, we also created a display of beekeeping equipment, educational materials and photography, to meet the public’s growing interest and concern for honeybees. Finally, to support our nonprofit activities - donating startup equipment, mentoring new beekeepers, trapping swarms - our members sold high-quality local honey and Kentucky-made honey products.
This year, well after publication of the 2017 fair guide setting out the same extensive competition, we learned that other priorities would take space in the building and that our booth was assigned to a tent.
Unfortunately, tent walls will not support our educational and creative materials; the surroundings (near the tractor pull track) are not suitable for safe, clean display of honey and honey products; and the site provides no security during closed hours. In just one example, dust will compromise the quality of entries and interfere with accurate judging.
The beekeepers, on learning this, have with great regret voted unanimously to withdraw our honey show and booth from this year’s fair.
We would like to thank everyone for their positive response to our past efforts.
The certified honey judge whom we engaged compared our honey show favorably with those at other county fairs, and praised the quality of honey from the various Grant County apiaries.
And greater visibility resulted in our club’s developing several dozen new beekeepers.
Be assured that despite our absence from this year’s fair, the Kentucky Backyard Beekeepers will keep protecting honeybees, promoting beekeeping, offering high-quality local honey and reaching out to educate and involve our community.
Irvin Van Winkle, President
Kentucky Backyard Beekeepers