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There is no waitlist available for this program. Contact us to inquire about ticket availability.

The Latest Buzz on Bees

In-Person Program

All-Day Tour

Friday, July 14, 2023 - 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1CD017
Departs Mayflower Hotel, DeSales St side
1127 Connecticut Ave NW
Fringe: I-495, Exit 27 Carpool lot
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Bees are nearly ubiquitous worldwide, busily pollinating on every continent except Antarctica. There are nearly 20,000 known bee species, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States. The Mid-Atlantic alone has nearly 500 native species. Spend a day at three labs that research and support native bees and honeybees.

Begin the day at the United States Geological Survey’s Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab with wildlife biologist Sam Droege, who develops identification methods and conducts surveys of native bee species. Then visit the University of Maryland’s Bee Lab to get up close and personal with honeybees. Suit up before visiting the onsite colonies with the Bee Squad, Karen Rennich and Mark Dykes. Learn about bee husbandry and the lab’s research on honeybee health and reducing the number of colony losses.

After lunch at a local restaurant, spend the afternoon at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bee Research Laboratory with entomologist Jay Evans and discover the agricultural and financial importance of honeybees. What exactly do busy bees do in their hive? Find out when you visit a glass observation hive. Then move on to the diagnostic lab and learn about challenges that honeybees face—their life isn’t all nectar and honey—and the services the USDA provides to beekeepers.

Know Before You Go

  • Note: A government-issued-photo ID is required. Participants will be contacted prior to the tour with additional information regarding appropriate attire for the tour. 
  • The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
  • Tour participants meet at and leave by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Avenue and DeSales Street, NW; Fringe pick-up at I-495, Exit 27 carpool lot at 7:55 a.m.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, July 13, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information:

Inside Science