The smell of a rustic, earthy honey wafts through the air. The community garden is lit up with string lights, alternative music is playing from a speaker hidden in a plant and Trinity students are mingling and tasting the honey made from Trinity’s very own bees.
The Trinity Bee Alliance had their first honey tasting event last Friday, to share the honey that they have collected from their bees over this past year with the community.
Bee Alliance president Abbi Bowen, a first-year English and Russian double major, coordinated with her fellow Bee Alliance members to put on this event.
“Bee Club hasn’t really done much, so I’m happy that people are actually really excited to come together and taste our Trinity honey. I just want it to be a very ambient setting; I just really hope people enjoy it. No one really comes together for the bees a lot; Usually we’re just working separately checking, on the bees at different times, so it’s nice when we get to celebrate together,” Bowen said.
The Bee Alliance is organized differently from a traditional club. Instead of regular meetings, Bowen holds “drop in hours,” where she encourages anyone to come talk to her about anything bee-related. The organization also operates through a Google spreadsheet, where members can go in and schedule a time on Sundays that they want to keep the bees. Bowen adds that anyone interested in helping out with the bees in any way should feel free to email her at email@example.com.
Students who attended the honey tasting event, whether they were regular members or not, all found the event to be a success.
First-year economics and environmental studies double major Ethan Courtman helped set up the event.
“A lot of students were there, and some prospective students as well. It looked like everyone was having fun. I didn’t know if there was going to be like five people or 40, but it looks like we have a good number,” Courtman said.
Diego Fernandez is not a regular member, but enjoyed getting more involved with the Bee Alliance.
“I had been interested in helping out with the bees and I like honey. It’s interesting that we have a beekeeping group to kind of just help the bees have honey. I come every once in a while if I can and have time,” Fernandez said, a first-year biochemistry and molecular biology major.
Fernandez thought that the honey and snacks tasted good, but admits he doesn’t keep up to date with the bee situation worldwide.
The endangerment of bees falling into extinction has come more into public view over the past few years, but Trinity’s Bee Alliance is doing their part to protect pollinators.
“It is really nice and refreshing to know that a lot of people do care about the bees, and they do know that they are dying and we need pollinators, but I just want to encourage people to email me and sign up to keep the bees, because we do need people to help out with that. Worldwide, the problem with the bees is well-known, but it’s not really being handled. And yeah, I can’t really do much because I don’t have a high position in government or anything, but I’m just trying my best here, helping out on our campus,” Bowen said.
Now that Trinity’s Bee Alliance has gotten all of the city permits needed to sell and let people eat their honey, the organization is considering selling some of what they’ve harvested to give back to the bees.
“If we sell it, all the money we’ll make is going to go to nonprofits in San Antonio for pollinators. I mean, we don’t really need money for much, we’re just helping the bees out, so if we do sell it, we might as well give it back to the bees somehow. I would also encourage people to buy local honey and to buy pure honey,” Bowen said.