Binghamton University students are striving to raise awareness and combat the depleting bee population with a new club on campus, the BU Bees.
After receiving a provisional charter last semester, the BU Bees held its first general interest meeting on Wednesday night in the University Union. At the meeting, members of the club said the goal of their organization is to publicize the advantages of keeping bees around.
Molly Heit, the vice president of public relations and social media for the BU Bees and a junior double-majoring in biochemistry and integrative neuroscience, said she felt bees often receive an unfair reputation.
“I think they deserve more attention on campus and among the younger population, especially with so many people scared of bees,” Heit said. “Not only should we not be scared of them, but we should do everything we can to promote their success.”
About 25 students attended the event and participated at the meeting by asking questions and suggesting future events they would like to see.
David Hatami, an undeclared freshman, said the meeting helped him understand why a bee club was necessary.
“I came to the event because I was curious about what purpose a bee club would possibly serve at the University; like, what do they have to offer?” Hatami said. “I didn’t know how endangered bees were and I didn’t know we had an on-campus apiary.”
BU Bees’ apiary, a collection of beehives, is located at Nuthatch Hollow, a 75-acre plot of land on Bunn Hill Road, and currently hosts multiple boxes of hives.
Multiple people and organizations are working with the club, including George Meindl, a professor in the environmental sciences department, and the Southern Tier Beekeepers Association.
The new club is also receiving attention outside the University. Dave Mayner, 58, of Conklin, attended the meeting to share bee information of his own.
“I am a beekeeper, or a beekeeper wannabe,” Mayner said. “I’ve been doing that for four or five years now. I want to help promote it, so I came to see what I could do to encourage students.”
Hatami said the meeting piqued his interest in the club.
“I’m really interested in joining because of the apiary on campus,” Hatami said. “I feel like not a lot of people know that there is one, and if more people knew they would be interested in joining, too.”