In November last year, OIST held its open campus day known as the OIST Science Festival. We were pretty excited to participate in such event and had the opportunity to communicate about our research with people from all over Okinawa. For this occasion, we set up several display booths to explain more about honey bee life and cycle. In parallel, Sasha gave a public lecture about honeybees in the US and their history.
Our large observation beehive encountered a huge success and kids were not the only curious ones. After trying to spot the queen, the public was invited to taste fresh honey from our experimental apiary while learning a bit more about the beehive life. We also wanted to make them aware of the different threats honeybees are facing. A small exhibition was set up with an example of a sick hive where the public could look at picture size frames with symptoms and disease details.
One of our ideas was also to make our research playful and using PowerPoint, a bit of imagination and arcade design we created the video game EcoEvo’s QUEST. Player could virtually incarnate our lab members for some parts of their daily work, learning about bees and DNA. You could help Yoann finding a queen, collect varroa mites with Maeva, find deformed wings of infected bees with Jo, solve a DNA puzzle with Qiu and more. The game is available in both English and Japanese.
All the smiles were our best reward!
From our side, we learned many useful Japanese words to describe honey bee thanks to our amazing Yoko-san and visitors. Here some examples: Honeybee = Mitsubachi ミツバチ. Drone = Osubachi オスバチ. Queen = Jooubachi 女王蜂. Egg = tamago たまご. Japanese giant hornet = Suzumebachi スズメバチ. Varroa Mite = barowa dani バロワダニ. Parasite = kiseichu 寄生虫.