Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Beehive Arrives

Our observation beehive has arrived from Draper's Super Bee Apiaries today!  This beautiful observation hive will allow visitors to observe a live honeybee colony behind glass.

The hive will allow bees to travel in and out of the nature center. Observers can look forward to watching bees place pollen and nectar in the hive, see nurse bees care for young larvae, watch the queen laying eggs, and so much more.  The entire unit rotates a full 360 degrees on its pedestal, so nothing will go unseen!

Full installation of the hive and its resident bees is slated for early April.  I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek into one of our newest exhibits.  A grand opening celebration is scheduled for April 20, so mark your calendars!

-Adam Zorn, Naturalist


Beatriz Moisset said...

What is the purpose of a beehive in a nature center? The honey bee is not native and not particularly beneficial to natural areas. Probably it doesn't cause serious damage to native pollinators and native plants, at least when compared to, say, the Japanese beetle. Still, it doesn't truly belong in natural areas.
The only function I can think of is the opportunity to educate the public about native pollinators and their importance in natural habitats. I hope that this message doesn't get lost.

Westmoreland Sanctuary said...

The primary function of the hive is just as you said, "the opportunity to educate the public about native pollinators and their importance in natural habitats". Not only does the hive provide a segue to discussions about pollination, but its also an important addition to our more general presentations about insects. There's also an important connection to make with insects and food production. While honeybees aren't the only insects participating in the production of food crops, they are the most famous and it creates an important connection for the public to understand the important role many bees play in our world. While many people are "cool" with butterflies and other pollinators, bees often come with a stigma and are labeled as dangerous. This is an important and safe introduction for the public to see an active hive. With knowledge comes understanding, with understanding comes compassion/respect for an entire group of insects we know as bees.