This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Changes to the State Fair Bee Exhibit

 How the honey is displayed, extraction, live bee display, types of entries will change, how the whole display is in general is going to change. Everything is on the table. Any ideas to Dave is appreciated.  The time is short so comments need to come soon.
   People should direct their suggestions to dschaaf@gmail.com before this Saturday.
An opportunity like we've never had before...

As you've no doubt heard there are big changes ahead for the Bee & Honey Show.  Every year the MN State Agricultural Society, the governing body of the Fair, undertakes a major project.  Next year's project will be a renovation of the Ag-Hort building.  There hasn't been much official information released yet, but here's a brief mention from the MN State Fair Foundation, the main fundraising arm of the Fair:  http://www.msffoundation.org/pages/programs/agricultural.html

At the same time the building is renovated, the Ag-Hort superintendents are being asked to re-evaluate and update their exhibits.  There are good reasons for this.  The Ag-Hort building has remained static for some time.  The State Fair directors understand that to attract visitors they need to keep the Fair interesting, relevant, and current.  Our audience has changed.  The overwhelming majority of State Fair visitors are from the Twin Cities with no direct experience with agriculture.  We're being asked to make our exhibits more educational with this particular audience in mind.

Having just completed my first State Fair as Bee & Honey Superintendent, I have a better appreciation than ever of the rich history of the Fair, and the special place Bee & Honey occupies.  The efforts of many talented and dedicated people have built our Bee & Honey Show into one of the leading honey promotions in the nation.  I'm proud to be carrying on this tradition.

At the same time, I'm excited about the possibilities ahead.  We have a unique opportunity to raise our standing at the Fair.  I'd like Bee & Honey to be as iconic and sought after at the Fair as seed art and butter sculptures are now.  I'd like to bring our message to a wider audience.  This is our chance to take the show to the next level. 

Looking for big ideas...

We're brainstorming now.  Winnie Johnson has collected some of our ideas (attached).  This is an early draft and doesn't include our most recent ideas and changes.  Don't be startled by some of the things proposed.  Remember we're just brainstorming.  We're trying to propose big ideas.  It remains to be seen which ones will be accepted and implemented.

If you have any more ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear them.  No idea is too big or far fetched.  I need your ideas by Saturday Sept 22nd (sorry, not much time).  I'll be revising the proposal this weekend and submitting it to the Fair on Monday Sept 24th.

What's next ?... 

The Ag-Hort superintendents will meet sometime in October to go over everyone's proposal and get the process started.  It's going to be interesting.  I'll keep you updated.  Thanks for your input and for your ongoing support of the Bee & Honey Show.

David Schaaf
Bee & Honey Superintendent, MN State Fair