ExplorationWorks opens new observation beehive

Mariah Thomas

Something new is buzzing with activity at ExplorationWorks – literally, buzzing. 

It’s a new observation bee hive, installed on Aug. 3.

“I am so surprised at how well they’ve settled in,” said Betsy Brandborg, ExplorationWorks’ beekeeper. 

Brandborg started beekeeping last year, when her husband got her a hive for a retirement present. Before that, she was a lawyer and worked as the general counsel for the state bar. 

“This is a lot more fun,” Brandborg said. 

Brandborg got involved with the new observation hive back in March when Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Gundersen, the secretary of ExplorationWorks’ board of directors, reached out to her about the project. 

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Brandborg said universities around the country operate these types of observation hives, but it’s a challenge. Observation hives can be overcrowded or be unnatural in terms of the amount of light and space the bees have. And, Brandborg said, if bees don’t like the hive they’re in, they’ll move to a new location.  

So, after Gundersen approached her in March, Brandborg, along with Matt Jetty, the ExplorationWorks exhibits and facilities director, and Erik Smith, the president of Smith Construction, started researching the

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