Paul H. Williams, Gleaner Writer
THE GROUNDS ofthe Rural Agricultural Development Authority's (RADA) parish office at 23 Caledonia Road, Mandeville, Manchester, will be buzzing with queen bees, worker bees, lazy drones, lovers of bees and their products as the Manchester Bee Farmers' Association (MBFA) puts on a bee fair and expo today.
The event will coincide with the RADA's farmers' market, and will showcase various bee products from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The objectives of this collaboration between the MBFA and RADA include to increase awareness of the various career paths and business opportunities that exist in the local bee industry; to provide a showcase of the innovations in the bee industry; to present a diversity of products from the bee industry; and to restore confidence and pride among bee farmers.
This is the first time a bee expo is being held jointly with a farmers' market, and was motivated by the large turnouts since their inception earlier this year. Speaking with The Gleaner about this sweet twist to the already popular occasional marketplace, Maia Chung, communications director at RADA, said, "Donald Robinson, (Manchester) parish manager for RADA, thought the crowd at the farmers' market would benefit the bee farmers."
"In this vein, quite viable associated events such as the bee fair are developed when people who farm see an opportunity where large masses of people will gather, they use these situations to expand upon the farmers' market concept ... ," Chung said.
She added: "RADA's facilitation of the farmers' market phenomenon has encouraged or become a catalyst for several offshoot ventures, which benefit a wider array of farmers than just the traditional produce and meat growers."