RAMABUZZ: A Bit about the Beekeeping Club

Hello! Thanks for reading our blog. This is our first entry.

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about the Ramapo College Beekeeping Club (RCBC). Since Fall 2013, students have come together to learn how to beekeep and prepare the paperwork to create a recognized club on Ramapo’s campus. The club was finally approved by the Student Government Association on Jan. 27, 2014.

Why was this club created? Why is this important?

For a few years, there have been honeybee hives present on campus–just not near the academic buildings, so not many people have seen them. There are three hives: the first two hives are located at the Havemeyer House, and the other is behind the Sustainability Center.

The hives originally belonged to Lynn Paglia, a local beekeeper who is very passionate about beekeeping and tended to these hives until she thought that it would be a great idea to extend this activity to the Ramapo community. So now, under the guidance of Paglia and Professor Eric Wiener, the club adviser, RCBC was created for students to take care of the hive behind the Sustainability Center (now property of the College). RCBC’s other objectives are to also provide a hands-on experience with the environmental focus provided by the campus and educate others about bees and beekeeping.

Many people have negative thoughts about honeybees, especially when they are confused with other insects like yellow jackets, wasps and hornets. While all sting, a honeybee can only sting once, resulting in its own death. Conversely, these other insects can re-grow their stingers and repeatedly sting–they are more aggressive than honeybees.

But what’s more important is that honeybees are vital to our food system. They pollinate our crops and help farmers grow our food. Without honeybees, the population, and the human race, would not be able to survive for long. Honeybees have evolved; they are made for pollination, and no other species can effectively substitute that role.

RCBC is here to remind everyone the importance of where our food comes from and how it’s grown. There are many problems now with the food system: it can not only sell us food that may be genetically modified crops that are covered in pesticides, but the agroindustry setting can also harmfully damage other living things within the field, including honeybees.

So what’s been happening with RCBC recently?

We just had our first honey sale on Monday, March 24, and it was a success!

We were actually not expecting a harvest from the hive last year, but in fact, the honeybees have been so productive that they had a surplus that we could harvest! There was about 25 pounds of honey, so there weren’t a lot of jars to sell. As president of RCBC, I went to the Student Center 10 minutes before 1 p.m. to set up for the sale, but there were already people waiting for the honey! Wow!

It wasn’t before long that all the honey was immediately sold out before 1:10 p.m.

There is no honey this semester unfortunately, but next semester we will be selling honey again, and there will be more of it!

If you wish to be put on the e-mail list of when we would be selling the honey, email beekeeping@ramapo.edu! And for more information, you can also check out our OrgSync page or Facebook page.

Editor’s Note: The Ramapo News provides space for bloggers on campus to express their views. These views are theirs and theirs alone and do not reflect anyone on the staff.