An annual event in Hendricks County, Indiana that was derailed by COVID in 2020 is back for 2021! Mark your calendars for the McCloud Bee Fest, which buzzes into McCloud Nature Park outside of North Salem next month!
Hendricks County Parks & Recreation is hosting the McCloud Bee Fest to celebrate the importance of pollinators. Roughly 75 percent of the world's flowering plants and about 35 percent of the world's food crops depend on pollinators like bees. Without them, we wouldn't be able to enjoy a wide array of fruits, vegetables, almonds, sunflowers, and the list goes on and on. And without bees, of course, we couldn't enjoy the sweetness of honey.
So on Saturday, Aug. 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., come on out to McCloud Nature Park to learn about the life of bees, which species are native to Indiana, how a colony works, how bees pollinate plants and much more.
We'll have bee-themed crafts and games, and there will be vendors there, offering bee-related items that are available for purchase.
(Insider tip: For those who have visited McCloud Nature Park in the past, you'll be pleasantly surprised at this year's Bee Fest. We've chip-and-sealed the drive and parking lots! No more limestone dust caked onto your vehicle at every visit!)
Live Honeybee Hive
The park is home to a really cool amenity, too -- an observable live honeybee hive! Behind the McCloud Nature Center, in the arboretum, park guests will find a building that looks kind of like a tool shed from a distance. That is actually the McCloud Bee House.
On each side of the Bee House, you can press a button to raise the shades and then look through plexiglass to watch the honeybees do their thing inside their hives! It's a pretty mesmerizing experience!
Honeybees are not aggressive -- our maintenance crew routinely works inside the Bee House without wearing a beekeeper's suit, and they very seldom get stung -- but they will sting if very agitated. Normal human behavior near them does not agitate them to a stinging level, which is good because after a honeybee stings, it dies.
You'll see honeybees flying around outside of the Bee House as they work on pollinating the nearby prairie, but they're a whole lot more interested in collecting pollen than stinging humans. Nevertheless, those with bee allergies should exercise caution around the Bee House and anywhere else in the park and keep appropriate first aid measures on your person.
Learn Basic Beekeeping
Interested in beekeeping?
It's becoming a more common practice these days, and if you're tempted to try your hand at managing an apiary, the McCloud Bee Fest is a great place to learn from local beekeepers and bee experts.
We'll have folks there who can give you the basics of beekeeping, answer questions, offer advice and provide more resources.
McCloud Nature Park
If you've never been to McCloud Nature Park before, I highly recommend arriving early or staying afterward to explore the park. It's 232 acres in size and boasts over 6 miles of trails.
The most popular feature of the park is the restored truss bridge that is over 100 years old and can easily be seen from the Bee House. There's also a cool wetland habitat boardwalk and observation deck near Big Walnut Creek, which runs through the park. And don't forget to stop in at the McCloud Nature Center to check it out.
Bring the whole family to the McCloud Bee Fest on Aug. 28 and enjoy an afternoon with us and thousands of important pollinators!
McCloud Bee Fest
- Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, 1 to 4 p.m.
- McCloud Nature Park, 8518 Hughes Road, North Salem, Ind.
- (765) 676-5437
- Free to attend
- Leashed dogs welcome
- Facebook event