Recently, the Junior League of Miami wanted to support a new project at the Museum targeted for young children. The idea of a bee hive was agreed upon, and as luck would have it, we later discovered a beehive in an avocado tree outside the Museum. The family-owned Bunch Farms volunteered to help with the Observation Bee Hive Project, which will allow visitors to see inside a bee hive (safely) to observe the life and times of a honey bee. Inese from Bunch Farms, who has been working on the project, comes from a long line of farmers. Her grandfather started beekeeping as a hobby in Latvia, and after moving to Miami, finishing school, and becoming a certified beekeeper, Inese is now following in his footsteps at Bunch Farms. After locating the queen bee in the Museum’s hive, Inese relocated the hive to Bunch Farms apiary to observe the colony, and by the second day in their new home, the bees were already organizing themselves and bringing pollen back to their hive. But they still needed a little encouragement, in the form of some honey and pollen from Bunch Farms, to stay and build their new home. To be ready for relocation to their permanent home at the Museum, Inese will need to split and “re-queen” the colonies, because each hive needs their own queen to keep a calm and friendly hive. Once the hive is installed at the Museum, children and adults alike will be able to literally see inside the amazing lives of bees.
In the video below, you can see a new queen bee communicating with bees in her hive, letting them know that she is present (and letting any other queen bees know that they need to leave).