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On the trail of the bees' riddle - Plant labyrinth at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment attracted young and old visitors

36/2022, 11.10.2022

Around 6,400 children and adults visited the "BfR Nectar Hectare"

On a discovery tour in the realm of bees: The 5th didactic plant labyrinth of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) looks back on numerous visitors after its conclusion. From August 25 to September 30, 2022, a total of 6,434 young and old guests made their way through the BfR Nectar Hectare and learned interesting facts about bees. "We are delighted with what is now the fifth successful edition of our plant labyrinth. The concept is well received - by both young and old," says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the BfR. "Its reception encourages us to communicate consumer health protection topics in a vivid and entertaining way in the future."

The BfR Nectar Hectare attracted a total of 6,434 visitors, including 3,909 children under the age of 16, with its 1.5 km-long interactive adventure trail. Over 17 different plant varieties such as hemp, maize and sunflowers, were greening and blooming on four hectares of land. Hands-on activities, a barefoot trail, a scent organ and a beekeeping station provided lots of interesting information about the daily work of bees and their importance for humans and nature. Their protection and the safety of products containing honey and beeswax were also addressed.

A foretaste of future plant labyrinths is also provided by the video reviews on the development of the Nectar Hectare. They can be seen on the BfR’s Instagram (@bfrde) and YouTube channel ( and the website (in German):

For the fifth time, the BfR has organised a didactic, interactive plant labyrinth. In previous years, it covered the topics of eggs and chickens, keeping and feeding dairy cows, processing and safety of fast food, and the safety of fragrances and flavouring substances. The plant labyrinth is a project in cooperation with the University of Kassel. UNESCO has awarded the concept "Learning in the Labyrinth" as an "Education for Sustainable Development 2010/2011" Decade Project.

At the BfR, the working group "Safety of Bee Food, Products and Bee Behaviour" is focused on bee behaviour, consumer health protection of bee products and bee health. Among other things, bee feed and various bee products are examined for this purpose. Six bee colonies currently live 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). It advises the Federal Government and the federal states ("Länder") on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts independent research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.

This text version is a translation of the original German text which is the only legally binding version.


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