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The Buzz around Colgate’s Apiary

By Sustainability Office on September 13, 2017
-Isabel Dove ’19

In the beginning of the summer, the Colgate Community Garden became home to two beehives. Since their arrival, Colgate’s new honeybees have been buzzing around the Community Garden, producing honey, and pollinating the garden’s crops.

The Office of Sustainability decided to establish an apiary, which is a collection of beehives, on campus in order to help fight against Colony Collapse Disorder, a global issue of declining bee populations, and to give students an opportunity to become actively involved in environmental stewardship.

During the Spring 2017 semester, a Beekeeping Club was founded in order to help take care of the bees. The club’s faculty adviser, Professor Ian Helfant, monitored the hives over the summer while students were off campus. Now that the fall semester is in full swing, the 30+ members of the Beekeeping Club are learning the art of beekeeping and are looking forward to a fun and productive semester. In the next year or two, the Beekeeping Club hopes to expand the apiary as well as harvest and sell honey from the hives.

Members of the Beekeeping Club before conducting a hive inspection.

Along with providing students a unique extracurricular activity, the bees have been contributing to improving the surrounding environment’s ecological health and have been especially helpful to the Colgate Community Garden. According to one of the garden’s summer interns, Camila Loke ‘19, “The flower garden is looking great. The bees love our herb garden and raspberries. They have also been spotted pollinating sweet peas in the community plots.”

Colgate’s apiary presents an exciting opportunity to support local agriculture and learn about how to take care of everybody’s favorite pollinator, so be sure to visit the hives and see what all the buzz is about!

 

Also ~bee~ sure to follow the Beekeeping Club on Instagram and email idove@colgate.edu if you’re interested in becoming a member!

 


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