Hurricane Sandy and the Seabees

Last weekend the east coast was hammered by Hurricane Sandy. Thankfully, all of us at the University of Maryland lab made it through unscathed, but some areas of the East Coast weren’t so lucky. My heart goes out to everyone who experienced flooding and devastation.

I kept my parents company during the hurricane at their home on the eastern shore of Maryland. The rain started to get heavy Sunday afternoon and by Monday morning the winds were blowing hard. I didn’t want to brave the roads in those conditions so there was no chance of me escaping my parents by that point (just kidding!). Somehow the conversation turned to the military (my Dad is a huge history buff) and in particular the history of the Seabees.

Photo from

The U.S. Navy realized prior to World War II that they were seriously lacking in infrastructure preparation. As a result they created the Naval Construction Battalions with the goal of a building force on foreign lands that could also defend themselves. The name Seabees comes from the acronym for construction battalion (C.B.) and let’s face it, a fighting bee makes a pretty formidable logo!

Photo from

The Seabees were made up of a team of electricians, carpenters, welders and basically any other profession that could assist with building airstrips, roads, and bridges. In addition to their construction capabilities, they were also an impressive fighting force. In fact, the Seabees participated in every amphibious assault in WWII.  If you like WWII era movies AND John Wayne, try to get a copy of this movie: “The Fighting Seabees” (

Now you’re probably thinking, aside from their logo, what do the Seabees have to do with honeybees? Remember, the Seabees build and then defend their construction…isn’t this exactly what honeybees do? There is more to their logo than just the name!

Written By: Rachel Bozarth

Rachel Bozarth has written 18 post in this blog.

I work for the University of Maryland as a research assistant analyzing honey bee alcohol samples from the Bee Informed Partnership and the APHIS National Honey bee Survey. I specialize in Nosema spore counts, but also enjoy field work in the USDA BRL bee yards. I have my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Wesley College and I wish to continue my education in Entomology and beekeeping. Before coming to BIP, I worked on a variety of projects at UMD including scouting corn fields for brown marmorated stink bug, testing the effectiveness of SHB traps and assisting with horticulture research at the UMD Wye Research Center. I love the learning environment my job provides and in the future I hope to start a bee yard of my own.

  • Sean.Stewart

    Interestingly enough, Modern Day Seabees from Mississippi and California went to the northeast to assist with recovery efforts in New Jersey and New York.

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