One of the greatest parts of being an Agricultural Education major is the freedom to experience a multitude of classes throughout CALS. This major requires me to take classes in Applied Economics and Management, Crop and Soil Sciences, Animal Science, Food Science, Entomology and more. This semester I am fortunate enough to be enrolled in ENTOM 2640- Practical Beekeeping and Managment. Practical Beekeeping is an extremely hands-on class that will give me the knowledge to be able to start-up my own apiary if I so choose once I have completed my degree. Now you may be wondering what you might do as a student in ENTOM 2640. Well I would like to show you:
Professor Nick Calderone believes that if we are to handle bees, we should all be comfortable around them. After looking at bees in their hives, we were able to see some of their social behavior in action. Attached to the wire is a small box that houses the Queen. These worker bees respond to the Queen and “swarm” around her. On my hand there are about 6,000 bees-no gloves, no protective gear-they’re all touching my skin. And the best part is: the swarm consisted of nearly 16,000 bees total so I’m not even holding half of them! I’m not sure I can accurately describe how this felt; my comparison would be if you’ve ever been to a fair or an amusement park and used one of those foot massage machines. Next time you see one, put your hand on it-it’s similar to holding thousands of bees!
Another great part of this class is that we will be able to visit local apiasts (beekeepers) and discuss their business and the industry. In mid-October, we do have an extremely tough assignment though; we have to bring in empty jars. You see, by mid-October the bees will have collected plenty of honey, so we will be extracting the honey and then will learn processing techniques while we walk away with plenty of honey for every student in the class! How awesome is that?
This is just one of hundreds of classes that I have looked forward to taking! With classes like Magical Mushrooms and Mischievous Molds and Wines to Vines I can promise that you will never have trouble finding classes to take! If you’re looking for a great class, definitely check out ENTOM 2600 (Biology of the Bee) and ENTOM 2640 (Practical Beekeeping) but be warned; they are currently only offered every other fall!