Phipps Conservatory Creates Buzz With New Educational, See-Through Beehive

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Behind the gleaming glass dome of Phipps Conservatory is a path less traveled by.

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes, with more than 100 species of native plants, is a haven for bees. A hole in the wall of the SEED Classroom leads to an entire colony in a see-through beehive.

“We’re, right now, losing as much as 30 to 40 percent of bee colonies annually,” said Adam Gardner of PennEnvironment, at a news conference unveiling the new hive.

“It’s an observational hive that was designed actually to use in classrooms, so kids can really get up close and personal and actually see bees working,” explained Phipps CEO Richard Piacentini.

The hive and classroom will be open Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Urban beekeeper Christina Neumann, founder of the apoidea apiary, stressed the importance of bees to the well-being of all.

“Bees are a major source of pollination for a huge number of crops that are important for human nutrition. At least one in every three bites of food you eat is thanks to a bee species,” Neumann says.

She says global warming and pesticides are a deadly combination. She added that we can all help by adding bee-friendly plants to our gardens. Organically, of course.

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