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A Bee’s Life, Up Close And Personal for the Public

August 21, 2009

“Bee” was the buzz word of the day at the Children’s Museum in San José on Tuesday.

Researchers from the NationalUniversity’s (UNA) center for tropical beekeeping investigations opened the new Apis Melifera bee observation exhibit there with the hopes of diminishing the stigma that surrounds the stinging insects.

“We want to demonstrate the positive aspects of bees,” said UNA researcher Rafael Calderón, as a bee circled his head. “People associate bees with destruction or annoyance, but really they have many great uses.”

At the new exhibit’s inaugural event Tuesday, researchers presented various applications of the honey that bees produce, including skin creams and edible spreads prepared by the center.

Experts explained some of the bees’ beneficial impacts, beyond aiding in plant reproduction as pollen carriers and producing honey. Calderón said the oils produced by bees can be used as antibiotics because of their natural antioxidant qualities.

The exhibit is permanent and open to the public with the price of admission to the museum. Approximately 1,500 bees, including the queen bee, are working in three glass columns of the exhibit.

–Mike McDonald

 

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