Earlier this summer, the Almond Board of California’s Honey Bee Pavilion came to the Central Valley to present fun facts about honey bees and highlight the bee’s vital role in providing a diverse, stable and nutritious global food supply.
In June, the Honey Bee Pavilion was at the National Ag Science Center’s (NASC) first annual two-week summer camp, held at Modesto Junior College West Campus.
“I love bees! I really love the honey they make,” said one excited camper.
The Honey Bee Pavilion was an instrumental part of the children’s learning process during these two weeks, prompting questions like, “Wow! Bees live in those white boxes. How do they get in and out of it?”
NASC Director Dr. Emily Lawrence and Christine Bays, NASC Mobile Lab and Curriculum Coordinator, walked the kids through the honey bee exhibit and explained the connection between the life of the honey bee, the flowers they pollinate and the industry that relies on them.
The children then worked through Almond Board of California’s “An Almond Story” activity booklet and watched an accompanying six-minute animated movie, which gives students a glimpse of the journey almonds take, from orchard to table, and the role bees play in this journey.
“It was perfect,” said Lawrence about “An Almond Story.” “It was a great platform to start from.”
The NASC Summer Camp wasn’t the only place the exhibit traveled. The Honey Bee Pavilion also visited the San Joaquin County fair from June 14-18. Kelly Olds, CEO of San Joaquin County Fairgrounds, said the bee pavilion was “the most popular exhibit” in one of the larger show rooms at the fair.
In addition to the Pavilion, Olds said the county fair partnered with PUENTES, a human services and development organization based in Stockton, California that aims to use sustainable technology to feed families in at-risk communities. According to Olds, a local beekeeper that works with PUENTES accompanied the Pavilion and “gave live lectures on what bees do for all of us and how much they contribute to agriculture and the food chain.”
This was the first year the pavilion was presented at the San Joaquin County Fair and, said Olds, hopefully not the last. “We would really love to have it back next year!”
The pavilion’s last summer stop was the lobby of Modesto Junior College’s Great Valley Museum, where the exhibit resided through the beginning of August.
Honey bees are essential for growing almonds. Without these powerful pollinators, the world would be without 80 percent of its almond supply. The almond industry appreciates its buzzing benefactors and the beekeepers who care for them. In an effort to maintain honey bee health, Almond Board of California has invested more in research on the issues that affect the health of honey bees than any other U.S. commodity.1*
Interested in learning about the close relationship between almond orchards and honey bees? Click here to learn more about these pollination partners. And if you or your organization would like to feature the Honey Bee Pavilion, and learn more about ABC’s educational resources, please contact Jenny Nicolau at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1USDA Report on the National Stakeholders Conference on Honey Bee Health http://www.usda.gov/documents/ReportHoneyBeeHealth.pdf
* Funding number is $2.3 million as of 2016