Hi, Honey: North Carolina Zoo Bee Exhibit
Bees help bring us favorites like apples, strawberries, watermelon and sunflowers, but that’s only the beginning. They’ve been called the most important insect pollinator in North Carolina, and that’s why the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association, along with the North Carolina Farm Bureau, wanted to educate people about the important role of honeybees. They partnered with the North Carolina Zoo to open the Honey Bee Exhibit in 2009.
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John Groves, supervisor of the exhibit, says the project includes an active observation beehive, along with a number of educational graphics and structures such as a 6-foot long sculpture of a honeybee. Visitors can walk into an oversized skep (the name of a beehive made of grass) and wander through gardens designed to attract honeybees, as well as other pollinators like hummingbirds and butterflies.
Volunteers from the beekeepers association also visit on occasion to talk about honeybees and their important role in pollination.
As for the occasional bee sting, Groves says it’s never been a problem at the exhibit. “Honeybees are not aggressive,” he says.