Bee Friends Farm, a Jacksonville-based beekeeper and honey producer, is celebrating National Honey Bee Day with the Honey Bee Festival. Hosted from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, August 17 at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds, the free event will feature demonstrations on bees and beekeeping as well as vendors selling everything from food to backyard equipment for keeping your own hive.

The festival will feature multiple areas, all in the Fairgrounds’ indoor facilities. Buzy Bee Marketplace will feature more than 60 local vendors including 1748 Bakehouse, Tea Nation, Lucy Lou Designs, Apple Rose Beauty, Hotter Than El Hot Sauce, Petal and Stone, and Saturiwa Mobile Trading Company. Bee Friends Farm will also host a honey tasting bar for attendees to sample and purchase their products. The Clay County Stingers, a 4-H beekeeping club, will host the Bee a Kid zone, featuring hands-on exhibits for kids to learn about honey, bees and the environment around them.

The Honey Bee Educational Annex will host educational sessions throughout the day. Sessions include Backyard Beekeeping, hosted by the Jacksonville Beekeepers Association; Mead Making led by Phillip Maple Head, Brewer at Wicked Barley; and a session on Working With Homeowner Laws to Keep aBackyard Hive led by Rob Horsburgh, Agriculture Protection Specialist for the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Bee Friends Farm was established in 2009 by the Leach family, and now maintain almost 500 healthy beehives in North Florida.

Article by Bill Delaney. Contact Bill at