Sarasota, FL – February 10, 2016 – When Governor Rick Scott vetoed funding for the University of South Florida’s Honey Bee Research Lab, state beekeepers vowed to raise the money themselves. Sarasota Honey Company is making the first major effort to keep that promise by presenting the First Annual Honey Bee Festival, Saturday March 12, 2016, hosted by Sweetgrass Farms in Sarasota.
Honey bee colonies have been on the decline since 2006. The collective name for the disaster is Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. CCD is the result of a variety of factors including the introduction of parasitic mites, insecticides, and habitat loss. In addition to the known variables, may still be causes unknown, which is why more research is necessary. Bees serve a vital role in U.S. crop production and economy. Continued bee colony collapse may instigate national economic collapse.
University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research Lab would replace its much smaller Honey Bee Research and Extension lab. The mission of the current lab as found on it’s website “is to improve the health and productivity of honey bee colonies in Florida and globally by investing in research projects focusing on honey bee husbandry, ecology, behavior, and conservation.” Governor Rick Scott vetoed UF’s proposal for a $2.5 million grant to aid in the creation of the research facility, twice in a row.
Proceeds from the Honey Bee Festival will be given in support of building the research facility. The Festival will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2016, 10:00A.M. through 4:00 P.M. Sweetgrass Farms is hosting the event at 8350 Carolina Street, Sarasota, Florida. Kids and adults in full costume get in free. Adults in regular attire pay $5.00. Activities at the event will include an assortment of vendor and craft tents, you pick strawberries, live music and family entertainment, kid zone crafts and games, local artisan food and raw local honey tastings. There will also be educational booths offering talks on backyard beekeeping, master gardening, pollination, and more.
For more information visit sarasotahoney.com or call 941-726-8755.