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Boise Bee Project: Connecting Boise State Students to the Treasure Valley Beekeeping Community

Bee poster
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Courtnie Carter, Jamie Lynch, and Jerrad Nelson
Environmental Studies Program
Boise State University

Abstract

The goal of this project is to expand and assist the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club and educate the community on the importance of  beekeeping. We integrated the Boise State Bee Team and the club to exchange knowledge and offer experience to new and younger beekeepers. Through TVBC events, classes, and projects, we provided an accessible resource increasing member participation in officer and member meetings and established a growing student community in the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club.

Methods

  • Recorded attendance for both clubs in order to see how the Boise State Bee Team had grown in numbers
  • Observed the number of students contributing to attendance at the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club meetings.
  • Observed how the group worked from member level input to resulting leader response.
  • Submitted a survey to the member-base asking what they expected and appreciated from their membership.

Data / Results

Results expressed the desire for two things: 1) more “hands-on” activities, and 2) desire for general knowledge. An interesting result from our survey was the attraction of beekeeping, and how and why it is important. The general dynamic gathered from our survey was the sense of community and how the knowledge of that community could benefit new beekeepers.

Survey Result from October TVBC Meeting

What do you wish you had known before becoming a beekeeper?

  • No answer – 1
  • Time and finance – 9
  • Pest problem – 9
  • Community – 3
  • Fun – 7
  • Information – 8

Student Attendance at Meetings

Fall semester – First / Last Meeting

  • BSU – 5 / 11
  • TVBC – 2 / 5

Spring Semester – First / Last Meeting

  • BSU – 16 / 18
  • TVBC – 7 / 10

Conclusions

By holding more introduction to beekeepers classes and educational sessions, we have provided an educational outreach for the younger  beekeepers through the expansion of TVBC’s mentor program. This creates an opportunity for younger and new beekeepers to have hands on experience with experts. We have successfully increased the number of younger hobbyist beekeepers. By integrating the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club and the Boise State Bee Team, our project contributed towards the growth of beekeepers within the Treasure Valley.