An intriguing and educational new permanent exhibition opened at Catavento Museum – the Museum of Science and Technology in São Paulo, Brazil on December 22nd, 2017, in time for families to visit during the end-of-year festive holiday break.
The inauguration of the “The World of Bees” exhibition, located in the museum’s cloister and covering some 100 m2, completes the pollinator attractions worth seeing at the museum, which also include a Butterfly House and Pollinator Garden. The landscaped garden was planted earlier in 2017 with 10,600 seedlings and 28 different plant and flower species.
The exhibition's entrance portal, designed in the shape of a huge honey bee hive, invites the visitor to enter the world of bees. Within the exhibit, children can learn about the different types of bee that exist in the world and how and where they live. Further videos, educational elements and interactive games make the learning process fun and exciting, showing the lifecycles of honey bees and wild bees and their role in the pollination of plants, including many crops we eat. Microscopes help visitors visualize bee anatomy in detail and additional exhibits explain how a beehive is constructed and operates. In another area of the exhibition, an aroma sprayer infuses the air with the smell of honey, completing the visitor experience with smells and sensations that the exhibition space and plants provide.
The new facility and exhibition area allows visitors to gain an understanding of pollination and the role bees play in this process.
While bees in Europe are often considered with affection and are seen as useful honey producers this is not the case in many Latin American countries where their native bees are seen as aggressive, potentially hazardous and are, thus, considered a nuisance. All the more reason for Bayer Brazil to sponsor this pollinator experience and make the audience aware of just how important pollinators are.
“In South America, many insects, including a wide variety of bee species, contribute to providing essential pollination services for agriculture. Some 75 percent of plants used by humans in the production of food benefit from insect pollination to improve the quality and quantity of production”, explains Claudia Quaglierini, Agricultural Policies and Stakeholder Affairs Manager at Bayer in Brazil.
Through this exhibition, it is hoped that visitors will gain a better understanding, not only of how the pollination process works and the interaction between different species of plant and pollinator but also of the important role that bees play in plant pollination. As such, visitors will see the importance of protecting these essential insects which are vital for the production of many agricultural crops, not only in the Latin American region but around the world, contributing to local economies as well as helping ensure we all have enough, healthy, nutritious food for a balanced diet.
“Bayer is committed to encouraging science, innovation and education”, said Paulo Pereira, Director of Corporate Communication of Bayer and responsible for the partnership with Catavento Museum. “We are happy with the longstanding partnership we have with the Catavento Museum since 2013 and also proud of the contribution we have made to children’s education through various projects, including this one on pollinators” added Gerhard Bohne, COO at Crop Science Division - Bayer Brazil who also attended the event, together with Theo van der Loo, President of Bayer Brazil.
Education about bees and pollination was also a topic for children visiting Bayer’s offices in Lima, Peru in December.
Another illustration of Bayer’s commitment to education on this topic comes from Peru where, during the same period, around 80 children visited the Bayer offices in Lima and learnt a little bit more about Bayer CropScience activities in Peruvian agriculture and, of course, about bees. To help explain the role bees’ play in agricultural productivity, members of staff at the offices were on hand to answer questions and there were books, stickers, posters and fun, bee-related items for the children to take away as a reminder of their day.
Speaking after the event, Mariela Reategui, Stewardship Manager, LATAM said, “It was great to see the interest the children had in the bees and learning about the different types and how they live.”
Through educational endeavors such as the museum project in Brazil and events like the one in Peru, we can bring a greater understanding of the challenges the diverse group of pollinators face in the modern world and help raise awareness so children understand the need to protect them. As the saying goes: the first step towards change is awareness.
Find out more on the Catavento Museum here.