February 25, 2024

Honeycombs at Homecoming – Honing the Hive

Bees. Courtesy of Josh Spoonhour
Bees. Courtesy of Josh Spoonhour
Courtesy of Josh Spoonhour

by Corrine Previte ‘17

News Editor

Students may have noticed a table selling honey at Homecoming. The honey came from the new Gordon College Beekeeping Association (GCBA) that was founded in the spring of the 2015-2016 academic year. The GCBA was started by Joshua Spoonhour ’17 and Joey Taraborelli ’17 with Professor Craig Story as their advisor. Both Spoonhour and Taraborelli now serve as the Association’s directors.

In 2015, Story attended a beekeeping class with the Essex County Beekeeping Association. He had one hive at his home and later added another  at Gordon.

“The Gordon hive and mine this year started with new bees which made a long trip from California, and they have both been very strong hives, each producing 35lbs of honey in the fall,” said Story.

This past fall the team accumulated 48 half-pound jars of honey at the biology club booth during Homecoming. Story said, “Funds from this sale are going toward purchasing new equipment and hopefully creating an educational exhibit in Ken Olsen Science Center.”

During Homecoming, the team sold about 15 jars of honey to visiting families as well as faculty and students.

The primary focus of GCBA is to help the bees survive the winter. In order to do so, the bees will need enough stores of honey to have over winter to not go hungry.

Story notes that, in this part of the country, one hive requires at least 80 pounds of honey in order for the bees to survive through the winter, which depends on the temperature and conditions.  

Overall, Spoonhour and Taraborelli are excited for this club. Spoonhour said, “As (Environmental) Biology majors, Joey and I are passionate about conservation; when we got the opportunity to establish the Gordon College Beekeeping Association, we were super excited to have an outlet to share our knowledge of the natural world with other students and faculty, while also learning the incredibly sustainable institution, and we are excited to be part of expanding the college’s reputation through the GCBA.”

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