Monday, April 22, 2013

Beehives Buzzing on Ramapo College Campus

April 22, 2013

Eric Wiener, professor
Kristen Andrada, student

Beekeeping Comes to Ramapo College

Mahwah, NJ—Lynn Paglia, a beekeeper from the Northeast Chapter of the New Jersey Beekeepers Association, talked about bees and beekeeping on Monday afternoon at Ramapo College. The presentation took place on the grass behind the Sharp Sustainability Center.

Those in attendance saw the honey bees working on their hives. Some even put on veils and beesuits and were up-close and personal to the bees. The hives are top-hive feeders and the bees use sugar water as their main source of feed. The honey-making process takes about two years, going from wax combs to luscious honey. The honey and pollen are kept close to the baby bees for easy feeding and less movement among the hive.

The beehives have been at Ramapo since the fall of 2011. The Sustainability Center has been a part of Ramapo’s campus since the fall of 2009. Its concept is to demonstrate the best use of being green, by taking advantage of its orientation, natural light and ventilation, using recycled and environmentally-friendly materials, reducing water consumption through fixture choice and collection of rainwater for irrigation, providing heating and cooling via a geothermal system and many other practices.

The Center is available to all students and faculty who register for an environmentally-friendly class. For example, the Appropriate Technology course will use the facility as a locus for design, experimentation, and demonstration. The Ecological Agriculture course will use the gardens and greenhouse to develop competency in sustainable agriculture.

Professor Eric Wiener talked about starting a beekeeping club on campus, hopefully in effect by the upcoming fall semester. Training to handle the hives and bees will be taking place Tuesday, April 30 from 4-5 pm and Friday, May 3 from 10-11 am. Those interested should contact Professor Wiener or student ambassador Kristen Andrada.

-- Bill Pivetz

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