More than 500 people, many of them children, flocked to an open house at the University of Minnesota’s new $6 million bee lab Saturday. They visited with researchers — and with bees.

The facility will provide laboratories for scientists headed by researcher Marla Spivak to study how to slow the declines in wild pollinators and honeybees.

The hallways were packed with visitors eating ice cream, peering at frames of bees,and watching extractors spin honey from combs. Spivak, the recipient of a MacArthur genius grant for her work with honeybees, was surrounded by well-wishers.