GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The honeybee, an insect integral to the agricultural world because of its handy pollination of crops, will be honored this Friday and Saturday, April 12-13 at the fifth annual Palisade International Honey Bee Festival. "Honeybee populations are declining worldwide," said Jean Tally, an event organizer. "Suffice it to say, it's a worldwide problem and this is a major agricultural area."The festival is the creation of one local group, formed specifically "to bring attention to the threatened honeybee population," according to the event website at palisadehoneybeefest.org. "The event is the brainchild of former resident and beekeeper Tina Darrah.""It's a way to engage people in a very relaxed setting," Tally said. "Saturday is supposed to be a beautiful day, with sunshine and 70-degree weather."Friday's opening at the Blue Pig Gallery, 101 W. Third St., will feature bee-themed artwork and jewelry, mead (a wine beverage made from honey) from the Meadery of the Rockies, and hors d'oeuvres, gallery director Kay Crane said. It's planned from 5-8 p.m. Saturday's main event, which includes a spelling bee for kids, vendors, art made from bee products, speakers, live music and food, is scheduled downtown from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. A new feature this year will be a children's contest for the best bee costume in which prizes will be awarded. Also, the Mesa County Library Palisade branch on Third Street will host a special bee storytime for children.The Town of Palisade will also provide continuous shuttle service on the "Buzz Mobile" every half hour from the Town Plaza with stops at the Palisade Community Center to see the Peach Blossom Art Show, the Meadery of the Rockies for on-site tours, and Wine Country Inn, according to a news release.For a full event schedule, visit www.palisadehoneybeefest.org.