What's the Buzz at Explorit?
This article appeared in the April 14, 2017 edition of the Davis Enterprise.
The beehive installation team at Explorit. From left to right: Explorit educator Gideon Alston, Christian Coulon of Circle of Bees, Girl Scout Quinn Beaulieu, and Explorit executive director Chris Breazeale. Photo by Derek Downey.
By Lisa Justice
Special to the Enterprise
Anyone strolling through Mace Ranch Park this past week may have noticed a new white box on top of a brick wall behind Explorit Science Center. A careful observer would have seen many busy bees zipping in and out of it. These bees are the newest animal residents at Explorit and the first part of an exhibition on pollinators!
The arrival of a beehive at Explorit is thanks to the work and collaboration of several members of the Davis community. It all began with Christian Coulon, founder of Circle of Bees, a local non-profit promoting and facilitating urban and suburban beekeeping.
Coulon had envisioned an educational beehive project at Explorit for years, but timing and funding caused delays. Enter Quinn Beaulieu, a Girl Scout on a mission.
The installation of Explorit’s hive is part of Beaulieu’s Girl Scout Silver Award project. As Coulon says, “that means there is Girl Scout Power behind it - that's one of the most powerful forces in the universe.” With Coulon’s passion, Beaulieu’s fundraising and some additional expertise by Derek Downey of Davis Bee Charmers, Explorit’s beehive is becoming a reality.
Last week, a free swarm of bees, likely emitted from a colony in Davis were recovered in a front yard in North Davis. “Swarming is the only natural method of colony reproduction, so that's the method that I feel best about and that we want to promote in the city,” says Coulon.
Coulon invited these new bees into a fresh hive, outfitted with waxy comb and a taste of honey. Happy to have found an ideal new home, the bees settled in and were ready for transport to Explorit.
So the next time you drop by the Science Center, or find yourself in Mace Ranch Park, be sure to check out our new honey-making friends. But this hive is just the beginning! Explorit and our beekeeping collaborators have big plans for an immersive educational exhibition all about bees and other pollinators--coming soon!
Explorit’s coming events:
● Summer Science Camp registration is open now! Find all the details at www.explorit.org.
● Save the date of Sunday, August 27 for Explorit’s annual end of summer Final Blast celebration, a full day of fun for the whole community!
● Save your clean tin cans and toilet paper tubes for Explorit! We are almost out of one of our most popular Challenge Center building materials. You can help stock us up by saving your clean household items and bringing them to Explorit’s office at 3141 5th St. during our regular business hours, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Wish list
● Explorit’s Exploration Gallery is open to the public every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, 1:00-5:00 p.m. and every Friday, 3:00-6:00 p.m. Admission is $5.00 per person; Explorit members, teachers and children 2 and under are free. Come check out the new Nano Mini Exhibition! www.explorit.org/visit
● Birthdays are fun with science at Explorit! Choose Super Birthday Party topics to make this a special event! Call Explorit at 530-756-0191 for more information or to book your party.
Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit http://www.explorit.org, or “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/explorit.fb.