Bee Tree

bee tree tube

About The Exhibit

The KU Natural History Museum is home to a live bee colony, housed in the model of a tree. Visitors can watch the bees come and go from the hive, from an exit and entry tube on the east side of Dyche Hall. During the winter, the bees will mainly stay inside the hive. Peer inside the exhibit — you just may find the queen.

Bee Facts

  • Bees and other pollinators are responsible for about a third of the food we eat.

  • Many bees can sting — but when left alone, they are harmless.

  • Kansas designated the honey bee as the official state insect in 1976.

  • Wild bee populations were once abundant. Deforestation for farming and urban expansion have reduced their habitat. Bees also face threats from several parasites and diseases, as well as pesticides and herbicides.

  • Scientists are studying how changes to climate may affect pollinators such as bees, including where organisms can live and thrive, their evolution, and their behavior.

Honey bees are social insects that live cooperatively in highly structured hives. There are three different castes or types of honey bees — each with specific jobs to perform: the queen, the drones and the worker bees. A typical colony has up to 60,000 individuals.

About the Exhibit

  • 6th Floor