At first it felt a bit creepy when my wife texted this picture of an empty beekeeper holding my book. Then I was flattered. My wife was attending the Calgary Science Fair where our son’s entry (a behavioural-science study) was being judged. There were over a thousand entries, the science fair filled the Olympics Oval (built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, the big venue is used for a lot of conferences and programs). In addition to the children’s science project entries, there were several displays set up by Calgary clubs and organizations to show various ways science is used in the community. For example, the university’s health sciences department displayed some software used by doctors and a geology group demonstrated something about GPS. But the best-attended booth was the beekeepers’ exhibit – they had an extractor, posters, free comb honey samples for the kids, demonstration hives (without bees), eager beekeepers who talked bees with the youngsters, and of course, the empty beesuit holding the Bad Beekeeping book. Why not?
The Calgary Bee Club is a fantastically active group of amateur beekeepers who love their hobby and share their enthusiasm with everyone within earshot. Years ago, I was active in the group, even served as president for a number of years, but I lacked the energy and organizational skills of the new group of club enthusiasts. These beekeepers arrange programs all over southern Alberta – elementary schools, the Aggie Days at the Calgary Stampede grounds, local fairs and farmers’ markets, honey-judging contests. I should be more active with the group, they are an exuberant group of people, but I haven’t attended their meetings in months. I had no idea they were setting up at the science fair. (And no idea they sent an empty beesuit to hold the bad beekeeping book.) Planning, staging, and staffing an event like this is a lot of hard work. Kudos to the club for promoting honey bees to the kids at the science fair!