Falcon Height buzzes with new U of M bee lab

The new 10,000 square-foot Bee and Pollinator Research Lab on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota will house research projects that seek to solve bee colony collapse.

College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences Dean Brian Buhr at the podium, while others, including Rep. Alice Hausman, marked the opening of the bee lab Oct. 29.

Some 500 people showed up for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new University of Minnesota Bee and Pollinator Research Lab.

Inside, visitors got a look at a room where researchers use red light, which bees don’t register so the room is dark to them, to observe a colony.

Folks also walked through an area housing honey extraction equipment that will be managed by the U’s Bee Squad.

The University of Minnesota held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 29 at its new Bee and Pollinator Research Lab in Falcon Heights.

The $6 million facility, two-thirds of which was funded by state bonds, the rest by private donations, is a part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. 

The 10,000-square-foot laboratory houses honey-extraction areas, observation hive space, offices and room for equipment. 

The goal of the research conducted there, according to a university statement, is to promote the health of bee pollinators. The lab “will centralize and facilitate the important bee research currently underway. 

“Solving colony collapse while ensuring the world’s food supply from plants that rely on bees for pollination — from soy beans and almonds — requires a wide range of experts working together and from diverse perspectives and subject matter expertise,” the statement says.

The College of Food, the release adds, “is leading the interdisciplinary effort to address these grand challenges — from pollinator research to plant genetics, and innovative ways to maintain and grow crop yields while protecting bees — to help solve hunger in the world.”

The Bee and Pollinator Research Lab is located on the U of M St. Paul campus at 1634 Gortner Ave.

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