NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- While World Bee Day has passed, Nashville Zoo has been making efforts to teach people how important bees are for pollination continuously.

They have put together a new exhibit that includes an apiary, which is a collection of beehives and colonies of bees kept to produce honey.

“Bees are extremely vital to the food chain. They’ve actually been around for millions of years. And honeybees doing their work, which is pollinating,” explained Olivia LaGrand, Nashville Zoo Beekeeper. “Pollinators are really the main reason we have a lot of the food crops that we eat, as well as a lot of the plants that are around us.”

Nashville Zoo’s new Apiary and Observation Hive show us how honey bees make their honey. You can visit it at the zoo’s Historic Farm exhibit.

“We’re still working on planting some wildflowers and getting everything looking nice. But it is already an active site for our apiary,” LaGrand said. “We already have a hive going. We actually just split our hive into two because it was doing so well that it was getting a little too big.”

“Later this week we’re going to be getting our observation hive, which is in the actual historic barn set up. And so, that will all actually be set up later this week. And then people can come and see them a little more safely because they’re going to be behind glass. And you’ll be inside and be able to see the working hive itself. And we’ll have a lot of infographics in there for people to read, and really learn about the honeybees.”

This time of the year is when they really get busy making their honey, so they can build up a supply to feed their hive during the winter. But after a year or so, they will make more honey. And that’s when you can harvest some for consumption. The zoo has some future plans for that.

“The idea is, in the future, if we get these hives going and they make it through their first winter, that maybe next year we will be able to maybe harvest some of the honey and be able to sell it,” LaGrand explained. “We’ve already kind of named it Grassmere Gold!”

That has a ring to it, and I bet it will be delicious.

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