Seven-year-old Logan Herbert was at the Honeybee Discovery Center museum Friday looking at bees under a microscope. 

Logan has a love of nature and enjoys eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches and chocolate chip pancakes as after school snacks. 

“I couldn’t have them without bees,” Logan said. 

Logan even donated $50 of his own money during the center’s recent Big Harvest fundraiser. 

The Honeybee Discovery Center museum in Orland is now open on the first Friday of each month so people can view exhibits and learn about the important pollinators.

“Hopefully we can education people as to how important bees are to the world and people’s everyday life,” said Donica O’Laughlin, one of the committee members working on the discovery center and educational coordinator. “... (We’re) hoping people will be more aware of what bees do for them … Every third bite you take, a bee helped produce that food.”

The museum’s current exhibits feature “Tools of the Trade,” which has a number of beekeeping tools; “Nature's Gold,” which currently features honey from the north valley (but O’Laughlin said they want to eventually feature honey from all over the world); a number of photographs; information about a local bee business that's more than 100 years old; and more. 

“We want to feature growers from all over,” she said. “We want to represent all beekeeping, not just the Orland area.”

O’Laughlin said exhibits will rotate at least twice a year and the current exhibit will still be in place for the February opening. 

The next exhibit is planned to be set up in March and will feature almonds and bees and their interconnections, she said. 

But the current museum is just the beginning. 

Terrie Salvagno-Barr, one of the committee members working on the discovery center, said they have been fundraising and planning to build a state-of-the-art facility in an empty lot owned by the city of Orland that is behind their current location at 501 Walker St. – O’Laughlin said the city is leasing it to them with the intention that they build the facility there. 

Salvagno-Barr said the facility is planned to feature interactive exhibits so people can learn about bees and agriculture. 

The current plan, she said, also includes an amphitheater for outdoor presentations and gardens for pollinator programs. 

O’Laughlin said they also plan to have a theater built in an old silo so people can walk in, sit down and it will be as if they’re inside of a hive and can watch bees work all around them. 

Salvagno-Barr said they recently finished their Big Harvest fundraiser through the Butte Ag Foundation – they’re waiting to hear how much they were able to raise. 

O’Laughlin said they hope to develop architectural plans next and then they may set goals about doing the different parts of the project – they hope to do different aspects of the project in phases. 

She said until they have the architectural renderings, they won’t really know where to go next or how much the whole project will cost. 

The Honeybee Discovery Center museum will be open next on Feb. 7.

O’Laughlin said groups or classes can also set up tours to visit the museum by calling her at 514-5061.

Recommended for you