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Don’t Miss “Bee Fest” on June 16!

Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

CATALYST Magazine is a long-time community asset in Salt Lake City, featuring frequent news and tips for sustainability-minded folks. After recently receiving their 501(c)3 status, CATALYST now helps organize community events, including the upcoming Bee Fest.

 Bee Fest

By Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern

Mark your calendars for the 8th Annual Bee Fest in Salt Lake City on June 16!

Organized for the first time by the team at CATALYST Magazine, this year the festival will celebrate all pollinators, including bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and the plants that they love.

For the past seven years, Bee Fest has been organized by the folks at Slow Food Utah. However, change was afoot and Greta deJong, the editor and publisher of CATALYST, decided to take it on. Coincidentally, Greta had been in the process of planning a Dandelion Festival, so agreeing to take on Bee Fest was only natural.

After all, the golden flower is one of the first sources of food for bees in the spring.

CATALYST is a local magazine with a mission to “explore and promote ideas, events and resources that support conscious, empowered living for people and the planet.”

Greta started CATALYST in 1982 with a group of friends and it has since grown to become a staple of Salt Lake City, contributing to the movement to keep print media relevant. Each issue aims to create Earth-conscious citizens.

“Education is the driving force of CATALYST,” Jane Lyon, the Development Manager for CATALYST, said. “We strive for enlightenment, awakening, and awareness.”

Bee Fest is the second festival that CATALYST will take on. In 2017, they put together the Clean Air Fair with only a month’s notice and had 500 people show up. This year, the number of participants doubled. These festivals align perfectly with CATALYST’s dedication to education and sustainability, which is why they are so excited to host Bee Fest for the first time!

Prior to this year, the festival was called the Honey Bee Festival. Greta and her team changed the name to “Bee Fest” to reference a more comprehensive commemoration of pollinators, plants, and the circle of life in general. By expanding their vision, they have discovered endless opportunities for creativity and community involvement.

Bees Catalyst

Courtesy CATALYST Magazine.

On June 16, you can look forward to a honey-based bake sale, a pollinator costume contest, and honey tasting. Greta also mentioned a spelling bee and poetry contest.

This event is for all ages and will host a number of workshops for every skill-level. These workshops will include everything from basic ecology lessons to making mason bee houses.

“We want people to leave the Bee Fest knowing how their lifestyle affects the ecology around them,” Jane said.

The event is open to all sorts of artisans and crafters – as long as they can tie their work back to pollinators. You can still contact them about exhibiting, sponsoring, or volunteering. (Fill out this form and email with any questions.)

The event will be hosted at the Wasatch Community Gardens Green Team Farm, located at 622 W 100 S.

This is an awesome location because it provides women who are facing homelessness with farm-based job training where they learn “organic gardening techniques, intensive vegetable production strategies, and small farm management,” over the course of a 10-month program.

Bee Fest also ties into SLCgreen’s Pesticide Free Campaign. Pollinators are vital to the health of our ecosystems and agriculture. The chemicals used in pesticides threaten pollinators by impairing physiological functions like digestion, reproduction, and navigation. By celebrating pollinators at Bee Fest we can increase awareness about the impact of our actions at home and in the garden.

If you are interested in taking the Pesticide Free Pledge, follow this link.

We are excited to dress up in our butterfly attire and celebrate Bee Fest this June. For more information about the event, visit the Bee Fest Facebook page and read Greta’s post on the CATALYST website.

We hope to see you there!

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