Calling all lovers of 6-legged freaks, it’s BugFest at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
I have a love for insects. I love to learn about them and see them behind glass, but I scream like a little girl when they flutter in my face. I capture home-invading spiders and cockroaches to put them back outside instead of ending their lives. But I’m also ramping up my mind and stomach to eat bugs at the 2011 Cafe Insecta at BugFest. It’s an odd love affair, but as most bugs are very odd, I feel like I’m in good company.
Bug Fest is an annual event held on the plaza and streets surrounding the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC. This event boasts loads of hands-on activities for children and brave adults.There are booths scattered inside and outside the museum. There was so much to see we didn’t even make it inside to see everything. Event admission and entrance to the museum was free – donations are always appreciated.
One of the star attractions is Cafe Insecta, where visitors can sample dishes featuring 6-legged delicacies. I didn’t realize you could actually eat bugs and I really wasn’t ramped up to try it that day – 2011, baby, 2011.
The highlighted bug this year was the humble honeybee. Jones Street was like a wild west main street with dueling beekeeping societies. All along the street there were Apis mellifera loving clans hawking honey, wax products and bee displays. One society demonstrated a lady with a bee beard. The secret is a queen in a small box strapped to the woman’s throat and a zen calm.
There was even one booth were you could hold a baby bee that had just emerged from its pupa that couldn’t fly or sting yet. It was fascinating to hold and see a bee up close. I love their furry thorax. The baby bees were a little clumsy which just added to its cuteness. I couldn’t help but think of the origins of the “Baby Bumblebee” song.
I’ve mentioned on this blog that the bugs grow big in NC and wow, this event didn’t disappoint. One of the best things I saw was a great big caterpillar called the hickory horned devil or the regal moth(Citheronia regalis). It was amazingly beautiful. They live high in the trees in North Carolina, I hope I get to see on in the wild. We also saw hornworms, assassin beetles, hissing cockroaches, and many more fascinating creatures.
The best thing about this event was the excitement for science. Everyone loved answering questions about their bugs. It was a great afternoon of soaking up more fun facts and learning more about the wonderful world around us.
Distance from Raleigh: 0 miles it’s in downtown Raleigh – See the map
Photo Gallery: BugFest
Wander Well Tips:
- Prepare your belly for bugs. Cafe Insecta offers insect dishes from local chefs
- Prepare to squirm there are lots of great bugs to look at and hold
- Watch where you step, imagine the Class Insecta uproar if you squished a friend
- Give yourself lots of time, this event could easily take three to four hours to experience everything inside and outside the museum.