A few weeks ago, I was invited to the Honey Bee Discovery Center Kick-off and Exhibit Preview in Orland, California. This event was followed by the Queen Bee Festival the day after. The Honey Bee Discovery Center is ‘the first interactive exhibit and museum of its kind’. It highlights the history of beekeeping from hobbyists, sideliners and commercial operators’ perspectives, and features the evolution and breakthroughs in equipment, pollination and art inspired by bees.
Inside the center, one can find multiple showcases of vintage bee equipment related to all apicultural activities, complete with an observation hive near the center of the room. All around the new center, visitors can find many bee related pictures and education opportunities.
Similar to many museums, the Honey Bee Discovery Center will have a permanent collection and special exhibits. The different glass enclosed displays will be changed frequently with different beekeeping related collections, so it is just like an art exhibit, but all about bees! This will make each visit to the discovery center unique as some items on display will be from personal collections and only appear once while other donated items could be displayed several times. The discovery centers collection is quite large.
Overall it was a great experience to see the exhibit first hand and to see the work that went into the preparation of this center. I feel the center will only improve over time as more displays and events occur there, increasing its popularity in the beekeeping community it is closely tied to. I highly encourage a visit to the Honey Bee Discovery Center, there is something for all ages and it is a sight to see!