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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Bee Local Celebrates Honey and Local Foods

Aug 31, 2011 10:28AM ● By Beth Davis

To celebrate National Honeybee Month in September, the Fredricksen Library will host a fun and informative festival aimed at raising awareness of the importance of bees to our community and the environment. The first annual Bee Local @ Fredricksen: A Honey and Local Foods Festival will be held from 1 to 5 p.m., September 17, rain or shine.

The festival will feature events and information throughout the library, with the goal of raising awareness about the critical roles of beekeeping and backyard gardening in Central Pennsylvania’s local agriculture and food industries. The official festival kickoff takes place at 7 p.m., September 16, with the regional premiere of Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?, ariveting documentary about the global bee crisis. The film has earned numerous awards at film festivals across the country and is a New York Times Critic's Pick.

The idea for the festival started when Bonnie Goble, the library’s executive director and a backyard beekeeper, heard about the documentary Queen of the Sun and thought it would be a great addition to the library’s Friday Film Series. The library secured a license for a community showing and that started the ball rolling.

“We began thinking about what we could do to promote the showing of the film, and it escalated into a library-wide initiative to do an event that involved community members of all ages,” says Festival Coordinator Alana Bubnis. The library teamed up with other local organizations including the Capital Area Beekeepers and South Central Pennsylvania Buy Fresh Buy Local to provide informative programs aimed at educating the public.

The festival will highlight sources of local, fresh, sustainable foods and honey; pollinator-friendly gardening techniques; and will host the Bee Local Farmers’ Market. Local farmers and honey producers will offer local produce, food, honey and beeswax products for sale to the public and answer questions about their farms. Nonprofit educational and membership organizations will also be on hand with information and activities.

Speakers will cover topics that include Beginning Beekeeping, presented by the Capital Area Beekeepers; Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), presented by South Central Pennsylvania Buy Fresh Buy Local; and Gardening for Pollinators, with Alex Surcica, Penn State extension educator and member of the Center for Pollinator Research.

Inside, the Pollock Children’s Library will feature special festival day activities, sure to keep the little ones busy. Outside, children are invited to enjoy hands-on participation in the pollination process with the Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation and their Mobile Ag Ed Science Lab. “It is really going to be a fun time for all,” notes Bubnis. “You don’t want to miss it.

“As a library, it is our role to be a repository of information and a gathering place for the community,” says Bubnis. “We are thrilled to act as conduits in helping people get started with joining a CSA, finding a local farmers’ market or farm stand, or keeping bees.”


Admission is free. Location: 100 N. 19th St., in Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-761-3900 ext. 678, visit FredricksenLibrary.org, or find Bee Local at Fredricksen Library on Facebook.

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