Mobile bee observatory at the National Heirloom Exposition
bees in the observation hive
You cannot miss Rob Keller’s Mobile Bee Observatory! Along with
Connolly Ranch, Napa and the St. Helena Montessori School, Rob will be
available to talk to people at various times during the day at the National Heirloom Exposition. Rob Keller’s artistic practice is inseparable
from his work as a beekeeper and teacher. Through the Napa Valley Bee
Company, he raises awareness about the honeybee and the importance of
strong genetics for local indigenous bees to flourish.
Rob shows off his bees
Keller breeds and cares for bees, managing three large scale apiaries, teaching
sustainable beekeeping, and creating art projects that raise awareness
about the importance of bees.
The mobile bee observatory
The Mobile Bee Observatory is a honeybee ecology classroom on wheels.
With the help of a Creative Work Fund grant, Rob Keller furnished a
28-foot Airstream trailer with a floor-to-ceiling observation hive and
a honey tasting station. Keller has traveled to Napa and Sonoma County
schools, museums, county fairs and other venues sharing his knowledge
of beekeeping and extolling the beauty and importance of the honeybee.
The observation hive
Keller hopes to take the Bee Trailer on John Muir’s historic route
through the Yosemite National Park along which Muir wrote letters,
essays about bees, and books telling of his adventures in nature and
wildlife, especially in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.
Havin a look
Rob and the crew will be at the Heirloom Exposition on all three days.
While there he hopes to complete an over-sized mosaic skep which will
have a honeybee flying on either side. Enjoy watching them work!
Located just a short drive from downtown Napa, Connolly Ranch is a rich reminder of Napa County’s agricultural past. These 12 acres serve as the Connolly Ranch Education Center, providing dynamic, hands-on education programs in an outdoor setting for children and the community. Their mission is to connect kids with nature through farm-based environmental education programs. Here they learn about farm life, the role of farm animals, the concepts of ecology and sustainability along with an appreciation for nature. They also learn about organic gardening, the sources and benefits of healthy foods and an understanding of how nature works to sustain us.
Michael Lauher is the Education Director at Connolly Ranch. Stop by the Mobile Bee Observatory area and chat with him and others about what is happening at the ranch right now. There will be information on their program. Listen to advice on garden plants that provide year round nectar/pollen sources for honeybees and explore their worm bins and compost. Partake in their seed planting activities and seed pellet making. They are looking forward with much enthusiasm to all the fun!