Beekeeping is an art that the Greeks perfected by domesticating the beehives and using fire smoke in order to collect the honey that these amazing bees create. Nik Brochini ’16 brought this ancient art to Lick this year through his Beekeeping club. He set out to do the impossible, bring bees to a school. This may seem crazy and a little scary, but the club has brought enthusiasm and joy to the Lick garden and community.
The two hives that the Beekeeping club built and painted are located on the upper section of the garden. Nik stated in his end-of-the-year speech that he “started this club with the vague hope of getting at least one hive here at school, by the time he left the school.” At the end of his sophomore year Nik brought not one but two hives to the Lick community. In total there are over 60,000 bees flying around the school. Some may be concerned by the number of bees flying around campus.
Beekeeping club would like to point out that the majority of stings come from wasps, and there are no wasp in the garden, and unless you are covered in nectar the honey bees will just buzz on by. Beekeeping club worked with the business office and faculty member to insure the safety of the community and the bees. There was also help from local beekeepers that helped the club with their vast knowledge and resources.
Not only did Nik want to nurture aspiring beekeepers but also wanted to raise awareness about issues surrounding bees and apiculture, the art of beekeeping. Using social media, the Beekeeping club can post informational web pages that members of the club see on the internet. Recently on their social media page there was an article from Sum of Us a website where you can sign petitions to get rid of problems that you think are relevant, the problem linked to the Beekeeping Facebook page was about the policies that are killing bees. Big companies like Lowes and Home Depot have been selling bee harmful chemicals that have caused over 37 million bees to die in Northern California alone. Also in meetings the club discuss the Colony Collapse Disorder this is something that is happening world wide to bee colonies. Nik educates his members about this bee epidemic because he says that “nobody knows and there needs to be more education about bee parasites and diseases. Beekeeping has the goal for next year to make bee knowledge more accessible and public.”
Nik wants to do a section with the freshman Biology class where he shows them the lick hives and share the knowledge he has obtained over the years surrounding bees. It is important to remember how important pollinators are to the environment and our way of life, so if you ever want to show your support to these amazing bees, stop by Beekeeping next year.