The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences department held a honey bee lab grand opening this weekend.
Honey bees are known to help with food production.
Now there’s a UF facility dedicated to researching how to keep honey bees flourishing throughout the world.
“I’m very proud of what’s been accomplished and really overjoyed to see all of the good works that are coming out of this,” St. Augustine bee keeper Gayle Prevatt said.
Prevatt drove all the way from St. Augustine to attend the UF IFAS Honey Bee Lab Grand Opening.
She says it was worth the drive.
“The amazing outpouring of support from the public, from bee keepers, from bee keeping associations, from other professionals in the field. It’s just a beautiful out pouring of support for the success of this endeavor,” Prevatt said.
A UF professor of entomology, Jamie Ellis, says that the over 16,000 square foot facility will be used specifically to address honey bee research extension and instruction needs.
“The reason they built this is because honey bees are important. Honey bees are responsible for somewhere in between 20% to 25% of the world’s food production,” Ellis said. “We know honey bee population are experiencing high loss rates year in and year out. So this facility serves as a place where we can come together with other scientists, bee keepers, etc. to address those needs that bee keepers have to see if we can improve bee health, bee productivity and stop the loss of bee colonies around the country.”
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