PASO ROBLES - This year’s Golden Oak Honey Festival had a lot more going on than just honey tastings. The Paso Robles Junior Optimist Club made a big splash with their Spelling Bee and Dance Contest. Elementary school age children from around the area competed to win a brand new bicycle and the competition was fierce. The audience watched as the third graders got down to the last three contestants who not only completed the third grade list of words, but forced the judges to move on to the fourth grade list until they had a winner.
There were also informative lectures given under the gazebo by prominent beekeepers in the region including one on “Bees and Flowers” by John Chesnut, Advisor for the Central Coast Beekeepers Alliance SLO.
Several local beekeepers were on hand as well with free tastings, live honeycomb displays and endless jars of local, golden honey for sale. Carrying on the ancient art of beekeeping, some of the youngest of there were Bryson Presenti and Jacob Shapero of the Templeton 4H.
“My grandpa was a 3rd generation beekeeper, so I learned from him,” said Presenti.
Sylas Taylor, age 15, was on hand as well representing Trail Life and selling his honey for donations that will go towards the group’s annual trips.
“Last year we got to go on the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier and spend the night on it. That was really cool. We have several camping and hiking trips planned for this year,” said Taylor.
When asked what the most difficult thing about beekeeping and making honey was Presenti said, “Keeping them alive. Making sure they don’t swarm. So you just need to keep adding more boxes.”
But when asked what the best thing about the honey festival was, no words were necessary, all one had to do was watch little Max Wilson, age 4, tasting the honey at the next booth. The expression of pure joy on his face of when the spoon went in his mouth said it all.