The NEW Honey Bee Discovery Center in Orland

Discovery Sign from Side of Building

Discovery Sign from Side of Building

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.

Front of the Discovery Center

Front of the Discovery Center

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!

Discovery Center from the back

Discovery Center from the back

Written By: Rob Snyder

Rob Snyder has written 67 post in this blog.

I currently work out of the Butte County Cooperative Extension in Oroville, CA as a Crop Protection Agent. I received my B.S. in biology from Delaware Valley College, PA. There I attained a majority of my entomological knowledge from Dr. Chris Tipping and Dr. Robert Berthold. After graduation, I was an apiary inspector for 2 years at the Department of Agriculture in Pennsylvania. In my third year there, I still inspected some colonies but I mainly focused on The Pennsylvania Native Bee Survey (PANBS) where I pinned, labeled, entered data and identified native bees to genus species. Leo Donavall assisted me in learning the basics on positive Identifications of the native bees. Around the same time I began working on coordinating kit construction and distribution for the APHIS National Honey Bee Survey. I was also fortunate to conduct many of these surveys with fellow co-worker Mike Andree and Nathan Rice of USDA/ARS throughout California. All of these experiences have led me to where I am today, working to assist beekeepers in maintaining genetic diverse colonies resistant to parasites while reducing the use of chemical treatments in colonies. The BIP Diagnostic Lab at the University of MD is in an integral part of this process by generating reports in which we can track change and report to beekeepers vital information in a timely manner which may influence their treatment decisions.

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