The bees are back!
After its popular bee tree and observation hive had been buzz-free the past few months, the Kansas University Natural History Museum introduced a new batch of the pollinators to the sixth-floor exhibit Friday. Winds and cold temperatures killed the previous colony of bees during a massive winter storm that closed the university for two days in February.
After she heard about what happened, a KU alumna donated the money for a new colony in honor of fellow alumni Lawrence and Frances Moore, of Lawrence. The museum actually got the bees a few weeks ago but had to first let them get acclimated in a bee box behind the museum. The museum has also added a camera to the exhibit so people can watch a live Internet feed of the bees hosted by Grit Magazine.
Museum spokeswoman Jen Humphrey said the popularity of the exhibit has grown in recent years, as awareness has spread about the loss of natural habitats for bees and other pollinators such as bats and Monarch butterflies.
"I think there's an increasing amount of attention paid to the role of pollinators in our food supply," she said. "There's great concern that as pollinators decline, our food may be in short supply."
Besides that, she said, it's a really cool exhibit.
"How often do you get to within two inches of bees busy doing their dance except at an observation hive at a museum?" she said.