Thursday, September 29, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 31
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Santa Maria Sun / Eats

Flying Goat Cellars celebrates Honey Bee Day with honey tastings, beekeeping demos, and more

CALEB WISEBLOOD

Wine is often the headliner at Flying Goat Cellars Tasting and Art Salon in Lompoc. But the venue’s yearly Honey Bee Day celebration usually attracts visitors who crave a different kind of buzz. 


HIVE HOPES
Local beekeepers will be on-site during Flying Goat’s Honey Bee Day festivities to offer local expertise and education on beekeeping—and a glimpse into the daily life of bees with a special observation hive.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLYING GOAT CELLARS TASTING AND ART SALON

The family-friendly event includes honey tastings and beekeeping demonstrations hosted by members of the Lompoc Valley Beekeepers Association (LVBA), said Flying Goat co-proprietor and longtime LVBA member Kate Griffith.

“Over the years, it’s been a lot of fun to see young and old people who are curious about bees and beekeeping come around for the event,” Griffith said. “The word has been spreading, so every year we get more folks that attend.”

A taste of honey
Call (805) 736-9032 or visit flyinggoatcellars.com for more info on Flying Goat Cellars Tasting and Art Salon, located at 1520 E. Chestnut Court, suite A, Lompoc. To find out more about the Lompoc Valley Beekeepers Association, visit lvbka.org. Members of the group will be on-site during Flying Goat’s Honey Bee Day celebration on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The club hosts its general meeting at Flying Goat on the second Tuesday of each month.

This year’s celebration at Flying Goat will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. National Honey Bee Day was founded in 2009 by a small group of beekeepers who petitioned for the USDA to recognize a formal awareness day to honor honey bees and beekeeping. 

Since then, the national date of observation is the third Saturday of every August. Flying Goat has been hosting its iteration of the tradition since 2014. Members of the LVBA also gather at the local tasting room on the second Tuesday of each month for the group’s general meeting.

“Flying Goat became a venue for the LVBA’s monthly meetings because my husband and I have been members for over a decade. We offered our space for monthly meetings as a community service,” Griffith said. “When we learned that there was a national awareness day for honeybees, we decided to host the National Honey Bee Day event too.”


THE BEE’S KNEES
The honey tasting portion of Flying Goat’s Honey Bee Day celebration is free, which will feature local, raw, unfiltered honey (also available for purchase to take home in various sizes, with or without honeycomb).
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLYING GOAT CELLARS TASTING AND ART SALON

LVBA members will be on-site during Flying Goat’s Honey Bee Day festivities to offer local expertise and education on beekeeping—and a glimpse into the daily life of bees with a special observation hive.

“The demonstration hive is always a crowd pleaser. It’s fun to find the queen, which is not always easy to do,” Griffith said. “Many families take advantage of the educational aspect of the celebration for their children. We also find older folks are just as fascinated as the youngsters.”

Tasting flights (ranging from $20 to $25 per person) of pinot noir and sparkling wine will be available for purchase during the event. The honey tasting portion of the event is free, which will feature local, raw, unfiltered honey (also available for purchase to take home in various sizes, with or without honeycomb).


BEES IN THE TREES
National Honey Bee Day was founded in 2009 by a small group of beekeepers who petitioned for the USDA to recognize a formal awareness day to honor honeybees and beekeeping. Flying Goat has been hosting its iteration of the tradition since 2014.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLYING GOAT CELLARS TASTING AND ART SALON

“Members show up with samples of their honey. Every year it’s different because every harvest is different,” Griffith said. “Sometimes there is less honey and sometimes there is more available.”

Griffith added that attendees are welcome to meet and converse with the on-site beekeepers, but guests can wander around the site on their own as well.


SUIT UP
Flying Goat co-proprietor Kate Griffith said that attendees of the Honey Bee Day event are welcome to meet and converse with the on-site beekeepers, but guests can wander around the site on their own as well. “Some choose to just observe everything quietly. Others are ready to put on bee gear and get psyched up to be a beekeeper immediately,” she said.
PHOTO COURTESY OF FLYING GOAT CELLARS TASTING AND ART SALON

“The event is free and very low-key so folks don’t get intimidated. They can engage as much as they want to with the demonstration hive, honey tastings, and our members,” Griffith said. “Some choose to just observe everything quietly. Others are ready to put on bee gear and get psyched up to be a beekeeper immediately.”

The next general meeting of the LVBA takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 13. Griffith described the club as a great way to learn more about bees and beekeeping and added that meetings are always open to the public. 

“We are a very diverse group of beekeepers who enjoy the camaraderie for a common cause. We are proud to provide a great resource for the local community with education and swarm removal,” Griffith said. “The local police and fire agencies even call us on a regular basis for swarm removals.

“Our meetings include intellectual discourse about hive designs, best practices, strategies, theories, recipes, etc.,” she continued. “I really enjoy and appreciate all our colleagues. Most of the time, beekeeping is a zen activity that relaxes me.”

To bee or not to bee, that is Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood’s question. Send honey puns to cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.










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