For love or honey

| 09 Mar 2012 | 10:34

    If you see some one dressed up like an astronaut in his own back yard, he’s probably keeping honeybees for one or more of the following reasons. Honeybees (1) pollinate your garden (2) make honey and 3) have been decimated by colony collapse disorder for reasons no one knows.

    But did you have any idea there were 419 other bee species native to New York? Me neither. I hazarded eight when Louise made me guess.

    Entomology master’s student Louise Lynch, 27, curated a year-long bee exhibit at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall to fill the gap in our collective knowledge.

    There are pin specimens of leafcutter bees that make their nests from cut-up leaves or petals, and squash bees that have migrated north as more of us northerners have started planting members of the cucumber family.

    The exhibit’s stars are the honeybees flying in and out of their glass-encased hive through a hole in the museum wall, collecting nectar and pollen to turn into honey and generally being endlessly fascinating.

    At right, environmental educator Pam Golben discusses the exhibit with its target audience.

    - Becca Tucker