is sweet
 on bees

Kimberlee Boulden, 9, of Fruita concentrates as she tries to spell “beanbag” during the second round of the Spelling Bee at the Palisade Honeybee Festival on Saturday. See photo gallery at

Just one look at all the pink and white buds in the orchards around Palisade and you’ll see why residents here love their honeybees.

There was plenty of buzz in downtown Palisade on Saturday as the town rolled out its sixth-annual International Honeybee Festival.

Nine-year-old David Wooten was a celebrity of sorts after winning a spelling bee over about two dozen other hopeful youths. His winning word: befallen.

Plenty of vendors offered honeybee-themed products including honey, beeswax candles and honey-infused products, and residents dressed up in bee costumes. Someone even spray-painted a tumbleweed yellow and attached goggle eyes and black pipe cleaners to it for antennas and a stinger.

Visitors were entranced by a live hive display at the booth for the Western Colorado Beekeepers Association. Group president Mary Graves spent the day talking about the intricacies of bee behavior and beekeeping with curious folks.

Beekeepers still notice the trend of diseased bees dying out, but having local hives can help, she said. One way to help keep bee populations healthy is to raise bees from a local source, Graves said. “A lot more people are doing that,” she said.

Meetings at 6:30 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month at the Jockey Club at the Mesa County Fairgrounds are open to prospective members. One topic of May’s meeting will be instruction on how to split hives. More information is listed on the group’s Facebook page.


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