Deer Lake, Newfoundland, Canada

Butterfly at InsectariumAfter returning from Labrador by ferry and walking a short distance back to our RVs, most of us departed within a half hour for our 184 mile scenic but cloudy trip to Deer Lake (Gateway to the North RV Park).  A fascinating Newfoundland Insectarium awaited us across the street — probably the best butterfly facility we have been to. It also included honey bees, a theater with many educational videos that a person could spend a day watching, and a spider exhibit on the third floor. 

View of second floor from third floor

The building was an old dairy barn that was some 40 years old.  After it was purchased nine years ago by the present owner, it was beautifully remodeled for his hobby, at an expense of one million dollars.  He so enjoys what he is doing!  His wife runs the gift shop.  He invited the group over at 6:30 p.m. for a special talk on honey bees. 

My, what a social structure bees have.  Worker bees (only female, and making up 99% of the hive’s population) have a variety of Honey Bee exhibitresponsibilities that automatically change to over their 35 day lifespan – Cleaning and warming; Feeding older larvae; Feeding younger larvae; Producing wax, building combs, transporting food; Guarding the hive entrance; Visiting flowers, collecting pollen and nectar.   A few male drones, developed from unfertilized eggs, fly out of the hive every morning to "The Club" where they meet and wait with bees from other hives for a new Queen bee to fly through for fertilization — the lucky (or unlucky) drones, that fertilize the Queen, die.  The Queen is fertilized for life — several years of life.  She has attendant workers which tend to her every need.  Check out the closeup of the bees — the queen has a white dot on its back and is attended by by several workers (center of red circle).. 

Bees that fly out of the hive for pollen and nectar, are greeted by guards at the hive’s entrance to make sure that they are not being invaded by bees from other hives.  I better stop now about the bees, but this was the only thing we did on this one night stay.  Well worth the stop.  Check out our Photo Gallery.

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