The Rooftop Beekeeping program at Boise State University is undergoing an exciting transition! The program used to be merely an internship program, allowing three to four students a semester to get involved. It has now transformed into a student club, named The Bee Team, which has opened its doors to letting many more students to get involved! Our previous intern students have been quite the worker bees, getting the club transitioned, recruiting new students, and managing the hives! I am the club’s advisor and have been really impressed with their eagerness and passion. Follow them on Facebook by searching “Boise State Bee Team”.

We are continually thankful for the support the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club has provided. They welcome the Bee Team students at meetings, allow us to help plan events for National Honey Bee Day, and most importantly, they provide one-on-one mentorship. Steve Sweet has been our “main drone.” He has come to our rooftop apiary countless times to assist with hive inspections and teach the new students the basics in beekeeping. This support is critical to our club’s success, and to my personal success in beekeeping.

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This photo show our mentor, Steve Sweet, teaching our new Bee Team members how to effectively open a hive by first puffing a little smoke in the front door.

Beekeepers really aren’t meant to survive in this world solo. We continue to exist, and sometimes thrive, but only with the support of one another. Steve Sweet has been my mentor or “main drone” through my beginning beekeeping experience, and has talked me off the ledge a few times …. or 10. The great news, is he isn’t the only one in our area willing to help a new beekeeper. Many members of the Treasure Valley Beekeepers Club are willing to help, provide guidance, and encouragement. I encourage you as a new beekeeper to take advantage of these opportunities by getting connected with their club. Check out idabees.org, attend some meetings, and get connected with an excited and knowledgeable beekeeper.

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This picture shows Steve teaching our newest members how to start a hive smoker.

Going through life trying to figure out everyone on our own, without the help of others, doesn’t fare well often. I certainly wouldn’t attempt that with beekeeping. Taking the advice and counsel from an experienced beek (beekeeping geek) just makes sense, and frankly makes the process successful. Take advantage of the knowledge around you. Get connected.

Keep your bees buzzin’ y’all!

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