Honey, Meet Me at the Fair

Aug 25, 2008

As a child, Dennis Price loved to watch the honey bees. “I could sit and watch them all day,” he said.


He still does. Love the honey bees, that is.


And he never tires of watching them.

If you attended the California State Fair on Sunday, Aug. 17 or Saturday, Aug. 23, you probably saw the enthusiastic Davis resident, now a beekeeper, in the honeybee booth in the California Foodstyle building. He and his partner Karen Flores were handing out honey samples and answering questions about bees, especially about the bee observation hive where visitors could watch the queen bee, worker bees and drones.


“About one-fourth of them were afraid of the bees, but about one-half of them were as fascinated with bees as I am,” Price said.


Dennis Price is a new beekeeper. Since April. So far, his six hives have produced 81 pounds of honey. The samples he served were absolutely delicious. Liquid gold.


Price is a graduate of UC Davis, but not in entomology. “I used to play racquetball with Larry Godfrey (Extension entomologist at UC Davis), though,” he said.


Price is a 1989 graduate of UC Davis (chemistry and toxicology) and now works for ESA Biosciences, a company based in Chelmsford, Mass. He’s the Western regional account manager, traveling from a route from Seattle to Hawaii, but mostly throughout California.

And in his “spare” time, he keeps bees.


“Bees are so underappreciated and so ignored and they work so hard for us,” Price said.


Above his head in the California Beekeepers Association booth was a sign that read:

  • The average honey bee makes just 1/2 teaspoon of honey during her lifetime
  • Honey bees fly about 55,000 miles just to make one pound of honey. That's equal to 1.5 times around the world.
  • One third of your diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants, and 80 percent of that is done by honey bees.


It used to be that newborn pigs (such as those below) hogged the attention of fairgoers at the California State Fair. They still do, but make way for the bees.


The bees are buzzing around the sunflowers in the garden section and they’re making honey in the California Foodstyle Building.


And if you’re like me, you’ll go to the fair just to see the bees.


You have until Sept. 1 to check them out.



By Kathy Keatley Garvey
Author - Communications specialist

Attached Images:

Karen Flores and Dennis Price: The bees have their attention and their respect. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Karen Flores and Dennis Price

Olympians have gold medals, but beekeepers have liquid gold. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Liquid gold

Fairgoers check out the observation hive in the Californa Foodstyle building at the California State Fair. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Observation hive

Piglets shown by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine are a key attraction at the California State Fair, but bees are drawing a lot of attention, too. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Piglets not the sole attraction