Honey Bee Discovery Center

Honey Bee Discovery Center

The first interactive exhibit and museum of its
kind, the Honeybee Discovery Center in Orland,
teaches the importance of pollinators, including
bees, especially honey bees, in our environment. It
shares the history of beekeeping, stewardship of our
environment, and offers a pollinator garden.

From Evolution to Observation
The Honeybee Discovery Center takes visitors from the
past to the present, as bees and humans adapt to the
challenges of an ever-changing world. Foremost, it provides
a unique opportunity to observe and study honey bees
scientifically and socially.

Bees and Blossoms
There exists a clearly-defined nexus between pollinators
and our food supply, especially almonds. Nestled in “The
Valley of the Queens,” The Honeybee Discovery Center’s
permanent exhibits include an in-depth emphasis on
beekeeping and California’s almond industry and the
queen bees produced in this unique microclimate known
as Northern California.

Richard Marple, a long-time resident of Berkeley,
California, had collected beekeeping artifacts for 80+
years. This desire to share his collection and lifelong
fascination was the inspiration for the Honeybee Discovery
Center. Mr. Marple gifted his collection to a group of
visionaries, led by Yvonne Koehnen, the matriarch of
one of the area’s oldest beekeeping families. Today the
Founding Committee behind the project is comprised
of local beekeepers, government officials, gardeners,
educators, and individuals interested in supporting and
understanding pollinators and their importance.
In 2017, the City of Orland, California, became the 44th
“Bee City, USA.” Being situated within the Mediterranean
microclimate of Northern California, Orland is recognized
as “The Queen Bee Capital of North America,” annually
producing and exporting hundreds of thousands of queen
bees throughout the world to support the pollination of
agricultural crops.
The perfect union of Orland as Queen Bee Capital and
the Honeybee Discovery Center was born in 2018 when
the two groups joined to make the vision come to life. At
present, the Honeybee Discovery Center administrative
offices are located at 501 Walker Street in Orland,
California. Fundraising is currently underway for the
construction of the state-of-the-art Discovery Center, and
pollinator gardens.

The Honeybee Discovery Center will be a leader in
creating a cultural awareness of bees and the beekeepers
who care for them. Interactive activities and displays will
teach the importance of honey bees and native pollinators,
and our world’s dependence upon them. Visitors will leave
with an understanding of the responsibility we all share in
conserving and supporting their habitat and species.
In order to build The Honeybee Discovery Center, we are
relying on tax-deductible contributions from supporters like
you. Philanthropy will bring the Discovery Center to life. A
gift of any amount is sincerely appreciated.

The Honeybee Discovery Center is a program of the
Butte Agriculture Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit
organization dedicated to promoting and increasing agriculture
education and awareness. Visiting their giving page: https://

There will be a new exhibit at the Honeybee Discovery
Center, which will open March 6th and will feature the
interconnection between Almonds and bees. The exhibit
will explain how almonds are produced and will show what
happens in the orchard from winter, through pollination, the
growth of the almond through the spring and early summer
and then harvest in the late summer early fall. We will have
old-fashioned equipment on display and photos of almond
production in the past and currently how almond trees are
cared for and harvested.

We are currently looking for old equipment and art for this
display. If you have anything that you might loan us for this
exhibit, you can call Donica O’Laughlin at (530)514-5061.
To find out more about the discovery center visit:

Join Our E Newsletter!
Get updates on upcoming events, giveaways, magazine info and much more!
We respect your privacy.