The McGill Apicultural Association (MAA), along with the Macdonald Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG) and the Office of Student Academic Services at Macdonald Campus (OSAS) has worked with the SPF to create and institutionalize a beekeeping and farming internship program. This project provides sufficient hives to create the revenue needed to employ students in the summer, and promotes student engagement with apiculture on Macdonald Campus.
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For such tiny creatures bees are incredibly important, and not just for your sweet tooth. These hardworking insects also make beeswax and pollinate almost a third of everything we eat. The McGill Apicultural Association (MAA) is a student club founded in 2007 to promote beekeeping as an important aspect of human interaction with the natural world. Besides training new beekeepers in the art of keeping bees, the MAA promotes related goals of informing the public about environmental issues facing honey bee populations as well as wild pollinators. We also offer workshops, public events, and produce honey and lip balm sold at farmers markets and across McGill’s two campuses.
Along with the Macdonald Student-run Ecological Gardens (MSEG) and the Office of Student Academic Services at Macdonald Campus (OSAS), the MAA and the SPF have created and institutionalized a beekeeping and farming internship on Macdonald Campus.
There is a chronic problem with student engagement and apiculture at Macdonald Campus which this project hopes to solve: the beekeeping season and the school year do not overlap, and there is not enough incentive for students to dedicate their summers to the program. With a paid internship and expanded facilities, students will feel their hard work is worth the effort. Linking the internship program with the MSEG expands the breadth of the program to a holistic, permaculture endeavor, and linking with the OSAS allows proper organization and advertising.
Resources from the SPF will help catalyze the internship program, reconciling the 'chicken-or-the-egg' problem of not having enough hives to create adequate revenue to employ students in the summer. Specifically, funds will be used to purchase a 9 frame manual honey extractor, shallow supers, shallow frames, hive boards and covers, as well as the salaries for internship coordinators.
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