After a full semester of planning, coordinating, and preparing, the Goucher Beekeeping Club debuted on February 2 at the Involvement Fair.
The founders and leaders of the club, Oliva Baud ‘19 and Virginia Turpin ‘18, discovered a mutual interest for bees early last semester and looked into the possibility of starting a beekeeping club on Goucher’s campus. Luckily, Marjorie Pryse, an affiliate of the Goucher community, previously owned bee hives and was eager to share her expertise with Goucher students and educate them to care for beehives of their own. With Pyrse’s help, passionate Goucher students were able to pursue new opportunities for the community.
In addition to Pryse’s guidance, the both Baud and Turpin and various club members have been involved with the Maryland Beekeeping Association. In addition to maintaining a relationship with the association, organized meetings and input from the community were important steps to establishing the club, subsequently allowing members to have the right resources to take care of the bees.
Members of the Goucher Beekeeping Club have already been able to purchase a bee nuclei, which is expected to arrive in April. The arrival of the nuclei will officially inaugurate the beekeeping process. In the meantime, club members are collecting proper equipment, including veils, gloves, and smokers. Since the funds from the Goucher Student Government were not sufficient enough to support the needs of the Beekeeping Club, Baud and Turpin are in the process of applying to the Green Fund so as to ensure the proper care of bees as well as those who will be keeping them.
The Goucher Beekeeping Club has many goals, first and foremost of which is the survival of the bees. The early stages of the process are extremely fragile, so ensuring the bees’ survival is key. Beyond the basics, the club hopes to educate the community about bees and their importance in nature, and end misconceptions about the bees’ habits. Involvement with the community and collaboration with other clubs, as well as getting Goucher to take on a more active role in the beekeeping process, are all hopes members have for the club.
Participation with the bees takes many forms, some of which are not limited to hands-on engagement. Having sufficient knowledge about bees and policies about state laws and regulations which affect bees—such as pesticides—are crucial aspects of participation.
Having bees on campus will provide opportunities for general research. Ultimately bringing bees to Goucher is a positive step not only for the environment, but also for education on campus and for building connection throughout the Goucher community.
But, there’s a question we all want to know—will there be honey? Yes, by next spring!