What Is The Buzz

Image of a bee approaching a dandelion
Bee Exhibits and Programs at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Museum




  • Graphic logo for The Secrets of Bees special exhibit. Bee landing on a dandelion.
    The Secret of Bees
    June 1-September 30, 2019
    The Secrets of Bees is an informative and interactive exhibit that allows families to learn about the bee population at a time when bees are under serious threat. Through educational videos and hands-on activities, children and adults will discover the many different species of bees and how we can help them continue to coexist in our world.

    In the exhibit, visitors can study a plexiglass-covered "observation hive" with a video of bees in action and learn about the production of honey by working in a giant bee hive. Children can dress up as actual honeybees and gather pollen, pack pollen into honey comb, clean the hive, and help care for the Queen bee! They can also wear real beekeeper protective gear and work real wooden hives. Beekeepers can then extract the "honey" and "sell" it at a roadside stand.

    This exhibit is created by Imaginarium

  • Imabe of an etching of a bee with a layer of beeswax built up around the image. The beeswax was created by bees.
    The Honeybee Scriptures: Etchings by Ladislav Hanka, Completed by  Honeybees

    In coordination with its The Secrets of Bees exhibit, the Museum will feature several added displays on the topic of bees. Artwork by Kalamazoo’s Ladislav Hanka, naturalist displays by entomologist William Westrate, and exhibits on Kalamazoo's beekeeping industries will all grace the first floor gallery spaces. Ladislav Hanka's installation, entitled Honeycomb Veils, is a collaboration with active hives, as the bees have created unique beeswax and honeycomb formations over the top of his hand-drawn etchings of birds, trees, fish, and insects. William Westrate will use his impressive collection of entomology to explore Hymenopterans, the insect order that includes bees. Collectively, the Hymenoptera are most important to humans as pollinators of wild and cultivated flowering plants, as parasites of destructive insects, and as makers of honey. Making honey is the topic of a third display which will explore some of Kalamazoo's beekeeping industries as well as programs at KVCC's Food Innovation Center.


  • Image of Charlotte Hubbard in a bee suit standing in a garden or field next to a beehive.
    Art Hop Bee Market
    June 7, 2019
    5-8 pm
    Charlotte Hubbard, 2018 Michigan Bee Keeper of the Year, will be here autographing and handing out copies of her children's book "If I Could Sit on a Bee's Knees...".  Come experience live music, local vendors of honey and bee related products, and chefs will be providing honey flavored snacks. Both exhibits The Secrets of Bees and The Honeybee Scriptures by Ladislav Hanka will be open for viewing.

  • Image of a woman's head in a bee suit looking at the bee inside with her.
    Bee-yond the Bees' Knees with Charlotte Hubbard
    June 30, 2019
    1:30 p.m.
    Discover the joy of beekeeping, fun facts, insights about honeybees, and the life of a beekeeper. Geared for adults, this presentation includes an overview of the honeybee, what’s happening with its survival, how we can help, and a time for questions and answers. Charlotte Hubbard, Michigan’s 2018 Beekeeper of the Year, is lead instructor for the KVCC Beekeeping Series, the author of two books, including a children’s book about bees and a humorous collection of essays about beekeeping, as well as a national speaker on all things bees.

  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum is the Place to Bee!
    he Kalamazoo Valley Museum Is the Place to BEE for this summer’s hands-on art programs. Every Wednesday in July from 1 to 4 p.m., visitors will be able to make ten different crafts related to bees. Children of all ages will enjoy free activities and the chance to explore a variety of artistic approaches to art.
    Wednesdays, 1-4 pm
    July 3: Bee Keepers will explore the different types of hives, the various roles of bees in the hive, and the process of pollination and beekeeping.
    July 10: Bee Creative will let visitors use their imaginations to create art related to honey, wax, and bees through sculpture, collage, painting, and more.
    July 17: Bee Jammin will let visitors discover how bees buzz, flight patterns, and how to do the wiggle dance. Staff from the Museum and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will also be demonstrating how brass instruments work in our Innovation Lab.
    July 24: Bee Aware explores the effects of pollution, pesticides, and invasive species on honeybees and our food supply.
    July 31: Bee Well lets visitors investigate the health benefits of bee-related products, how to be safe around bees, and cooking with honey.

  • Image of a bee on a lavender plant
    Bee Garden Tours
    June 26, 2019 and July 24, 2018
    10 a.m.
    Enjoy a tour of KVCC’s gardens featuring a variety of nectar and pollen-producing plants that attract pollinating insects like bees during different times of the year. Ask questions about starting your own pollinator garden and receive a flower seed packet to take home and plant. Begin tour at KVCC’s Food Innovation Center, 224 E. Crosstown Pkwy. The gardens at the Food Innovation Center are an example of a polyculture, where a variety of plants thrive together to support each other and the wildlife around them. The five-acre site includes an indoor grow room, a heated greenhouse, outdoor raised beds, and a passive solar hoop house. Register for these free tours through www.kvcc.edu/community/.

  • Image of Susan Rice
    Plants for Pollinators with Susan Rice
    July 28, 2019
    1:30 pm
    Identify the most common of the 400 species of pollinating insects in this area and understand what they need for food and shelter. Learn which plants are bee friendly, how bees pollinate our plants, and the benefits of pollinators to our food supply. Find out what we can do to take action on behalf of the bees. Susan Rice is a certified Pollinator Champion through MSU, an established beekeeper, an avid gardener, and a board member of the Kalamazoo Bee Club.