Gateway Science Museum

Buzzing for Bumble Bees

Bombus is the genus name for our world’s beloved group of bumble bee species - and the title of our current exhibition on display in the Newberry Gallery at Gateway Science Museum. Bombus! The Natural History of Bumble Bees brings to life the beauty, ecological importance, and joy of these charismatic native bees. California is home to an astounding 1600+ species of native bees, but few of us are aware of the 25 species of bumblebees native to our state - that’s about half the total number of bumble bee species in the U.S. Through extensive and exquisitely detailed photography by plantsman and longtime bumble bee enthusiast and observer, John Whittlesey, Bombus! brings home to audiences the critical role bumble bees play in our native ecosystems. The exhibit explores why it is more important than ever that we know and protect bumble bees and their habitats.  Bombus! The Natural History of Bumble Bees includes documentary audio/video modules, historical and current bumble bee data, and hands-on, interactive science and learning activities for all ages - in-museum and to take home.

On display through August 24, 2024.

Bombus! The Natural History of Bumble Bees is created by John Whittlesey, co-produced by John Whittlesey, Jennifer Jewell, and Gateway Science Museum. Copyright 2022-2024.


Descriptive alt tag
Descriptive alt tag
Descriptive alt tag
Photographed by  John Whittlesey

Thank you to our Bombus donors:

Foundress $10,000+

Marcia Moore

Queen $2,000+

Gayle Hutchinson

Laura & Randy Schiff

Sisterhood of Workers in Service to the Colony $1,000+

Janet Brown


Judy Sitton

Flora Jewell-Stern & Eric Stern

Males in Service to the Queen $500+

Mike Abruzzo

Diana Bingham

Charlotte & Roy Ekland

Dave & Hilary Hassenzahl

Christopher Hest

Jennifer and Kevin Parrish

Gwen Quail

Gardener for Bumble Bees $250+

Abe & Jacky Baily

Liz & Ken Fleming

Michelle & Jim Graydon

Bill Knudsen

Erin & Charles Kyle

Mary Anne Pella-Donnelly

Candy Solari


John & Lauree Asarian

Jeff Brown

Wendy Brown

Guerdon Ely

Dean Fumasi

Kobe Hassenzahl

Jackie Howland

Sabrina Jewell

Kathryn K LaShure

Teresa Matthews

Rich Meyers

Janet & Steve Pearce

Holly Sitton

Alicia A Springer

Joan Stewart-Thorpe

Audrey Tennis

Jill VanderHeiden

Suzanne Watroba