Richard Marple, a long-time resident of Berkeley, California, had collected beekeeping artifacts for 80+ years. This desire to share his collection and lifelong fascination was the inspiration for the Honeybee Discovery Center. Mr. Marple gifted his collection to a group of visionaries, led by Yvonne Koehnen, matriarch of one of the area’s oldest beekeeping families. Today the Founding Committee behind the project is comprised of local beekeepers, government officials, gardeners, educators, and individuals interested in supporting and understanding pollinators and their importance.
In 2017, the City of Orland, California, became the 44th “Bee City, USA.” Being situated within the Mediterranean microclimate of Northern California, Orland is recognized as “The Queen Bee Capital of North America,” annually producing and exporting hundreds of thousands of queen bees throughout the world to support the pollination of agricultural crops.
The perfect union of Orland as Queen Bee Capital, and the Honeybee Discovery Center was born in 2018, when the two groups joined to make the vision come to life. At present, the Honeybee Discovery Center administrative offices are located at 501 Walker Street in Orland, California. Fundraising is currently underway for the construction of the state-of-the-art Discovery Center, and pollinator gardens.