Environmental Network Gets Bee Demonstration at Farm

By Purnell T. Cropper | April 9, 2010

Members of the Environmental Network visited a farm in Lansdale, Pa., that has approximately 50 hives and watched a bee demonstration on Saturday, April 3. The farmer, Jim Bobb, showed everyone in attendance the process of setting up a new hive.

“The new bees came in a box the size of a shoebox with mesh sides. Jim sprayed the bees with sugar water to keep them from flying away. He took out just the queen bee in her cage and taught us how to tell if the workers have accepted her or not,” says Stephanie Clymer ’11, President of the Environmental Network club. “We then watched Jim pour the bees into the hive, and one Arcadia student remarked that it looked like he was pouring rice out of a bag because the bees were so still.

“Because he had sprayed them with sugar water, the bees just sat in a pile while he was talking to us and explaining various procedures of beekeeping and giving tips to help the hive get established.”

Bobb explained that honey bees do not sting unless someone is disrupting their home or their queen, which came as a surprise to some of the people there.” In fact, the bees were very docile and Arcadia students were able to hold some of the bees in their hands. After this installation demonstration, the students were able to walk around to see the other hives on his farm. “Overall, it was a great trip and it was fascinating to see how to start and maintain a bee hive,” Clymer adds.