John Ball Zoo has new residents; honey bees!

Community News |Aug 9, 2019|2 min read

John Ball Zoo LogoJohn Ball Zoo has announced that guests can now peer into the world honey bees inhabit with the addition of an observation honey bee hive as one of their newest exhibits.


Zoo guests can safely watch honey bees in their contained hive up-close as they go about their day-to-day activities, including building comb, storing honey, and raising brood. Guests can also learn the biology of bees, their important role in our ecosystem, and what we can do to support their conservation. The honey bees have been settling into their contained hive from inside the Natural Treasures building, near the exit.


Honey bees live in complex communities and are highly social insects. This hive provides a great opportunity to observe honey bees hard at work. Guests can see a split view of the multiple levels of the hive and watch as the queen lays eggs. They can also see the worker bees bringing in pollen, making honey, and doing their famous “waggle dance,” which is how they communicate to one another.


Informational signage has been added around the exhibit explaining the organizational structure of the hive, how to identify the queen, and the crucial role they play in our ecosystem.


With spontaneous and widespread hive collapses in recent years, honey bee keeping is encouraged to help boost their population. John Ball Zoo will use their new observation honey bee hive to educate the public on the wonderment of honey bees and how they make our world go ‘round.


John Ball Zoo is participating in the world-wide conservational efforts involving honey bees. John Ball Zoo supports these efforts by helping grow the honey bee population


and by educating the community on the importance of conservation and environmentally friendly practices.


John Ball Zoo is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and is located on Fulton Ave. one mile west of downtown Grand Rapids. For more information, visit,email info@jbzoo.orgor call (616) 336-4300.