Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Honeyfest 2014

-Posted by Isaac

Lithopolis had their annual shindig this last Friday and Saturday. This year the program was dedicated to Dan Cottrell.

We lost Big Dan about a week after last year's Honeyfest. Everyone remembers him as an exuberant volunteer in the Scioto Valley Beekeeper's demonstration booth and a permanent fixture cranking out the honey. He was a Santa Claus figure at the extractor-- surrounded by kids. Teaching, laughing, entertaining; always a twinkle in his eye. It was painful not to have him here.
The Honeyfest sponsored their first honey contest this year, and the "Best of Show" award was sponsored by our SVB club in Dan's honor.
More on that later.

Honeyfest is a big deal for central Ohio beekeepers and as usual we brought a whole bunch of stuff.

However, this year I got a bit smarter with the transport of this stuff to the festival. We now have a big flatbed... why not use it? This would eliminate the need for multiple vehicles to carry things. The only problem is, you can't run a thousand straps across a thousand different items.
Sideboards were needed. Another last minute project on a hot Thursday afternoon:

Friday morning: Here come the Clampetts.

By noon, everything was taking shape, looking good.

Once again, a wonderful Jayne-inspired masterwork of honey, ready to fly home with eager Honeyfesters.

And they came in droves.

Another (very smart) development this year. We were aided in the honey selling by no less then seven attractive young ladies over the course of the two days.

(Were the sales better this year?  Well duh...)
Eight, if you include the star of the show:

It quickly became evident that they didn't need me standing there looking stupid.
I got to walk around and take pictures. This year I soaked up the Honeyfest.

There were bee beards all day long-

American Honey Princess, Elena Hoffman models the latest in Bee Fashions.

And music-

And Art-
Both to wear..

And to buy...

A little Education-

And a Little Fun-

Food, of course-

And Honey of Every Shape, Size and Color-

Candles Too-

And Interesting Things-
Having nothing to do with honey or bees.

"Are you kidding? Yes, for the thousandth time, local anvils are good for your allergies."

"Seriously, I hate that question!"

Demonstrations of all Types-

I've got to highlight our own club!

SVB put on the ever popular extracting demo.

And Contests Galore-

ECOBA sponsors the annual photo contest:

My vote for "Peoples Choice" award- 
These crotchety beekeepers doing "American Gothic"
Who are these guys?
Carmen and The Devil

As I mentioned earlier, this year was the first for a real honey judging contest.

Maybe I got overzealous, but I entered honey or comb in seven different categories.
It was the shotgun approach.
Which fits nicely with that Taj life philosophy I talked about--(Many fish bites if you got good bait.)
So with the odds in our favor, we were bound to collect a few ribbons.
And we did.

But what about the Dan Cottrell "Best of Show?"

Well, you know...

I don't never like to brag none.

But you know...

Joking aside, I'm humbled and honored.
And I really felt moved when Dan Williams our club president shed some tears while presenting the award and talking about Big Dan.

What a two day whirlwind. I was happy to be able to document all my playing around.
When the big band plays late Saturday, you know it's about time to wrap things up.

Time to get back to the bees.
And kids, and everything else. On Sunday Maizy demonstrated one of the new time saving routes they had learned in our parental absence.

Masters of efficiency, our children.

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