Helping Out Honey Bees

IMG_8047Honey bees do more than just pollinate flowers and make honey. They also pollinate a third of the world’s crops and are critical to our agricultural system. Their populations, however, are in severe decline.

Here at the Zoo and on our EcOhio Farm, we have established honey bee hives to contribute to the population. The hives are managed by an internal beekeeping team called Pollen Nation.

Click here to find out more about pollination!

No Need to Fear

Unlike the more aggressive hornets and wasps, a honey bee stings only when threatened and it can do so just once.

Pollen Nation
Pollen Nation
Pollen Nation
Volunteers building hives
Volunteers building hives
Volunteers building hives
Honeybees in hive
Honeybees in hive
Honeybees in hive
Checking on honeybees in hive
Checking on honeybees in hive
Checking on honeybees in hive
Zoo staff setting up bee hives at Bowyer Farm
Zoo staff setting up bee hives at Bowyer Farm
Zoo staff setting up bee hives at Bowyer Farm
Pollen Nation volunteers working on hives at Bowyer Farm
Pollen Nation volunteers working on hives at Bowyer Farm
Pollen Nation volunteers working on hives at Bowyer Farm
photo by: Fia Cifuentes
photo by: Fia Cifuentes
photo by: Fia Cifuentes

Swarm Removal

If you spot a swarm or cluster of bees, contact your local Beekeepers Association for appropriate removal. Pollen Nation is not able to assist with this.

Buzzworthy: Local Bees in the News

Business Courier

Pollen Nation Buzzing Over Honey Bees – Cincinnati.com

Honeybee Haven in Warren County – Cincinnati.com

Local 12 Coverage

AP Coverage

Cincinnati Zoo’s Pollen Nation Buzzing With Activity

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Live Outdoor Honey Bee Hive Exhibit can be Found Across from the World of the Insect! (photo by: Fia Cifuentes)


Become a Bee Spotter

The Zoo has teamed up with Bee Spotter to learn more about the bees in the greater Cincinnati area, and we need your help! Simply snap pictures of bees that you see and submit it with a date and location to beespotter.org/cincinnatizoo. An expert will identify the species and add it to the database.

bee spotter

honeybeeqr

 

 

 

How to Spot a Honey Bee
Honey Bee

honeybee

About ½-inch long, honey bees have slender, slightly fuzzy abdomens that are pointed at the tip, and they have an obvious striping pattern.

 

Bumblebee

bumblebee

Bumblebees are bigger, pudgier, furrier and have rounded tips to their abdomens, and they don’t have many stripes.

 

Wasp

wasp

Wasps and hornets are similar in size and color, but they have smooth, narrow abdomens with no hair.

 

WHO IS POLLEN NATION?

beePollen Nation is a very diverse group of zoo employees and friends passionate about our fuzzy friend, Apis mellifera (the European honey bee). Their group, Pollen Nation, was established in 2015 and has been very busy defining our goals and turning them into reality.

Mission Statement: Promoting pollinator awareness by re-wilding habitats and inspiring action while reconnecting the community to nature.

Pollen Nation: What’s the Buzz:
    • Learning the practice of beekeeping
    • Keeping honey bees here on grounds and at the Bowyer Farm (16 hives to bee exact)
    • Placing a live outdoor honey bee hive exhibit on grounds
    • Giving honey bee chats to our guests (Fri-Tue @ 2)….telling a local conservation story
    • Getting our guests involved in the citizen science project collaboration with the University of Illinois, BeeSpotter (check out beespotter.org/cincinnatizoo)
    • CREW is doing a genealogy study on native plants and bee-plant selection at our Bowyer hives
    • Honey produced will be distributed to SSA for café recipes and gift shop sales (increase conservation awareness through sales and food)
    • Pollen Nation has semi-regular beekeeping meetings for continuing education and topic discussion
    • Reaching out beyond our guests by making a presence at various community events
Contact Pollen Nation here!