Honey Bees Invade Murray Hall

Bee reveal ceremonyToday was the unveiling of the bee colony in Murray Hall! A reception to welcome the bees was held at 11:15am, where Director Ellie Groden unveiled the bees, Professor Frank Drummond gave a brief history of the bees, and refreshments were served.

Roughly 20,000 bees took residence in the Murray’s foyer on September 20th and they are here to stay. The idea was a result of a collaborative effort to have something alive and meaningful in Murray Hall. “Biology is all about life,” said SBE Director Ellie Groden. “The bees are a representation of life that links people, food and health with the environment and the natural world. We wanted something that would really draw people in.”

The rapid decline of bees worldwide has triggered research on colony collapse disorder. Research on bees at UMaine has spanned more than 20 years, ranging from pesticides effects on bees to the relationships between honey bees and native bees. The University has maintained 30-60 colonies of bees per year to support this research. Contributing factors to colony collapse disorder include viral and fungal diseases, mites, loss of habitat and pesticides.

Reminder: The deadline for “name the queen bee” contest is Wednesday October 10th!