On a discovery tour of the “BfR Nectar Hectare”: experience the bee’s everyday work with all your senses

What’s an average work day for bees? Why are they so important for humans and nature? And what can you do yourself to protect bees? Visitors will find answers in the BfR Nectar Hectare, the 5th didactic plant labyrinth from the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). On the 1.5 km long interactive adventure trail, visitors will find hands-on activities, a barefoot path, a scent organ, a straw castle and a beekeeper's station. The labyrinth will be ceremoniously opened by Silvia Bender, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the BfR, on 25 August. Entry is free of charge.

“Bees are essential for our ecological and food systems. Their work guarantees the pollination of plants and, therefore, our food supply. At the same time, they provide us with sweet honey and beeswax. It should thus be everyone’s goal to protect bees and their wild relatives. We can all contribute to this. Knowing why bees are so important to us and our environment, and how we can help bees in our everyday lives is an important first step towards this,” says Silvia Bender, State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). 

“Honey and beeswax are contained in numerous foods and products in our everyday lives – often without us noticing. The didactic BfR plant labyrinth explores how honey and beeswax are produced, what they are contained in and what people need to be aware of,” says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel. “The BfR Nectar Hectare communicates important topics regarding consumer health protection in an entertaining and illustrative way.”

Topics such as pollination, safety of bee products and the anatomy of bees provide a lot of interesting facts and practical tips for everyday life. Information and interactions are presented in an entertaining and age-appropriate way especially for younger visitors – and a reward beckons at the finish line! The BfR’s teaser videos provide a first sneak peek. You can watch them either on the BfR’s Instagram and YouTube channel (@bfrde) or on the website:

The BfR Nectar Hectare is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10 am and 6 pm. Guided tours (approx. 1½ hours) take place during the week for school classes and nursery groups. These can be booked via the registration form:

Families and individuals can simply drop in. Other group tours are available upon request. 

Entry is free of charge. The plant labyrinth is located at the BfR site at Diedersdorfer Weg 1, 12277 Berlin-Marienfelde. More information can be found on the website of the BfR Academy:

For the fifth time, the BfR is offering a didactic, interactive plant labyrinth. Earlier versions thus far have focused on eggs and chickens, keeping and feeding dairy cows, is the processing and safety of fast food, and the safety of fragrances and flavouring substances. The BfR’s “Eiland” (Egg Land) was visited by around 7.000 visitors in 2019, including about 4.000 children. The plant labyrinth is a project in cooperation with the University of Kassel. UNESCO awarded the concept “Learning in the Labyrinth” as an “Education for Sustainable Development 2010/2011” Decade Project.

At the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), the working group “Safety of Bee Food, Products and Bee Behaviour” focuses on bee behaviour, consumer health protection regarding bee products and bee health. Bee feed and various bee products are some of the things examined for this purpose. There are currently six bee colonies living at the BfR, which produced around 40 kilos of honey last year.

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The BfR advises the Federal Government and the States (“Laender”) on questions of food, chemicals and product safety. The BfR conducts independent research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

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