Beekeeping for College Credit

George Mason University, in Fairfax County, Virginia, now offers a beekeeping class to college students. Because GMU has just 12 beehives divided between two on-campus apiaries, the class size is limited to 12 students.  Each student is responsible for one hive and the bee colony inside. The course has become so popular that there is a waiting list of 100 students who want to take the class. Recently, the school partnered with Sweet Virginia Foundation, a beekeeping cooperative, in an effort to raise $10,000 in additional funds for the class. This would allow GMU to add 13 beehives to the program, for a total of 25 colonies. This is a great project, and it would be wonderful to see it expanded to college campuses all across America. If anyone reading this blog has connections at a college or university, why don't you suggest adding beekeeping as a college course? Andy Sachs, a freshman at GMU who took the course, summed up his experience with these words: "The main thing I have learned by studying bees is that they are really very social and are not out to sting you. They are gentle and important to the ecosystem."  Give that boy an "A"!

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Photo Credit: Shamus Ian Fatzinger/Fairfax County Times

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