The bees are back at Brazos Museum of Natural History! Gene Ash and fellow beekeepers recently installed a new queen bee and worker bees. Guests can once again safely enjoy watching bees up close in a beautiful observation hive in the Museum’s Discovery Room. The exquisite hive was constructed in 2012 by Board Trustee Jason Hancock with the guidance of Danny Weaver from Bee Weaver Apiary in Navasota. Dr. Juliana Rangel-Posada (Texas A&M University), Gene Ash, and Dr. Bart Drees help maintain the observation hive at the Museum.
The museum installed the observation hive in 2012 to replace one that they had many years ago. “Bees are a wonderful natural history education tool,” says Executive Director, Dr. Deborah Cowman. “Students enjoy finding the queen, watching her lay eggs, and watching the bees at work on the hive. We plan to develop a wonderful exhibit about bees and bee conservation so all of our visitors can learn more about them and the important role they play!” The queen has a small dot of paint on her thorax, so patient visitors can find her if they look long enough.
A tube at the bottom of the hive goes through the wall and outside the museum, allowing the bees safe passage to forage for nectar and pollen and then return to the hive. When the hive needs to be serviced by the beekeeper, the exit can be closed, and the hive removed outdoors for the beekeeper to safely inspect the colony and their home.
The Museum’s summer hours (through August 21) are Monday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm. The Museum’s regular hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm. For more information about the beehive, exhibits, displays, events, programs, and activities, contact the museum at (979) 776-2195 or visit www.brazosvalleymuseum.org.