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The bittersweet story of ‘our greatest friend among the insects’

Human beings have spent millennia cultivating bee populations.

In recent years, the plight of honey bees has made headline news. We’ve learned about their crucial role as pollinators, and the mysteries of colony collapse.

Dr. Thomas Seeley is a professor of biology at Cornell University who studies the behavior, social life and ecology of wild honey bees. He has been a beekeeper since he was a teenager.

Seeley was at the Pacific Science Center this week to talk about his new book, ‘The Lives of Bees: The Untold Story of the Honey Bee in the Wild.’ In it, he explains what today’s scientists are learning about the survival strategies of wild honey bees and how this information can be applied to beekeepers’ colonies.

Local bee keepers and enthusiasts had plenty of good questions for him.

This episode of Speakers Forum is part of KUOW’s ongoing partnership with the Pacific Science Center in their Science in the City series. Thomas Seeley spoke about The Lives of Bees at The PACCAR IMAX Theater on May 16. KUOW’s Sonya Harris recorded his talk.

Come back next month for another Science in the City episode: The Last Butterflies.

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