Bee Fest: A celebration of pollination!

By Greta Belanger deJong

June 17-23 , 2019 is “Pollinator Week” and CATALYST leads the way with Bee Fest Saturday, June 15th, 9am – 2pm, at the Green Team Farm 622 W. 100 S.

By now, you probably know we need pollinators—bees, butterflies and other insects, as well as some bats and birds—to produce  fruit, nuts and many vegetables, as well as coffee, tea, tequila and chocolate.

But did you know that pollinators also play a role in the making of healthy meat and dairy, too? Grass-fed cows eat clover and alfalfa, which need to be pollinated if they are to produce seed.

Minus the bees and their ilk, we’d be looking at a diet primarily of rice, corn, wheat and root vegetables.

While honey bees (of primarily European descent) loom large in our present-day consciousness, they do not have to do all the pollinating alone. The U.S. is home to 4,000 species of native bees as well. And 1,000 of those species live in Utah. In 2017 Utah State University entomologist Joe Wilson identified 127 different species of native bees in the University of Utah’s Red Butte Garden.

We’re learning more about the critters that hang out in our flower beds and trees as news spreads about the importance of pollinators to our food system. In addition to bees, plants are pollinated by ants, bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths and wasps. But bees, both native and domesticated imports, remain at the top of the list for doing the heavy lifting.

Governor Gary Herbert declared June 17-23, 2019  “Pollinator Week” and CATALYST Magazine kicks off the week with Bee Fest: A Celebration of Pollination! on Saturday June 15.

“Pollinator species provide significant environmental benefits that are necessary for maintaining healthy biodiverse ecosystems,” according to the proclamation Gov. Herbert signed. And that’s the message we’re here to share.

At Bee Fest, you’ll find many flavors of honey for sale from local beekeepers whose girls (for all working bees are female) feast on different flower fare; native and ornamental pollinator plants; an observation hive; expert beekeepers; the much-loved Honey of a Bake Sale by Slow Food Utah; harp music by Lindsey Lesser and more.


Our primary sponsor  for the second year in a row is the law firm of Richards Brandt Miller Nelson (RBMN). RBMN proves its commitment to the community by supporting many charitable and educational events, including Bee Fest. Shareholder Barry Scholl, vice-chair of the firm’s business section, is a CATALYST board member. For more information on RBMN, visit

We’re grateful to Wasatch Community Gardens for sharing their beautiful garden space with us, as well as the expertise of the inimitable James Loomis (who is also CATALYST’s “Garden Like a Boss” garden writer and famed DJ illoom).

None of this would be happening without Slow Food Utah’s generous bequeathing of the festival to CATALYST last year. Slow Food Utah, the local wing of an international organization, originated the festival in 2011. Slow Food Utah/ USA/International is committed to the expansion of “good, clean and fair food” for all.

There’s plenty more! Follow what’s happening at the festival at See you on June 15.

Greta Belanger deJong is the editor and founder of CATALYST. Contact her at

This article was originally published on May 31, 2019.