Bee Lab Paid Off!
We are very proud and very relieved to announce that the Bee Lab within the Department of Entomology has paid off our portion toward building the new Bee Research Lab on Gortner Ave. – just over $2.1M!
In 2014, the MN State Legislature approved funding for a new Bee Research facility. The State agreed to pay two-thirds of the total cost, and the University was tasked with raising the remaining one-third. A small group from the Bee Lab worked closely with Cynthia Cashman, Amy Alch and Adam Nance from the CFANS Development team, and a number of great people in UMN Foundation to find donors to raise our portion. And we did it.
We are eternally grateful to CFANS Development and the UMN Foundation for connecting us with interested donors and for creating beautiful materials to promote the project. It’s been an incredibly rewarding learning experience.
Special recognition and thanks go to Dr. Becky Masterman. Becky ran the Bee Squad, the Extension and outreach arm of the Bee Lab, from 2012-2019. Founded in 2010 as a way to accommodate increasing demand for information about pollinators, Becky grew the Bee Squad’s reach and community support tenfold. She generated an enormous social media following for Bee Squad’s educational and hands-on programs that included beekeepers, native bee conservationists, homeowners, businesses, non-profits, war veterans, artists, and many more.
Bee Squad customers and stakeholders are passionate about bees and habitat needs, and many donate substantial resources to planting for bees or organizing their communities to support bees. Many Bee Squad Customers and supporters also became substantial donors to the new lab facility. I credit Becky’s brilliance as a beekeeper, scientist and communicator for inspiring so many to invest in our new building, which now houses the honey bee lab, the native bee lab, and the Bee Squad team.
The world of pollinators depends on collaboration: between bees and flowers, researchers and beekeepers, pollinator advocates and land managers, conservationists and farmers. Lastly and very importantly, our Bee Lab donors are our essential collaborators who ensure the work on behalf of bees gets done.
Thanks to Becky and our donors all who did their part to get the Bee Lab built.
Marla Spivak, Distinguished McKnight Professor, Department of Entomology
Bridget Mendel, Bee Squad Program Director