St. Louis Community College-Wildwood is buzzing with excitement, thanks to a new partnership with Scott Allred of Allred Bees.
This month, the campus added three bee hives to the grounds; two of which will be managed by student clubs and the third by Allred himself.
As part of the partnership, Allred has offered to mentor students and staff on beekeeping.
“It’s truly a win-win for the campus and the environment,” said Andrea Raineri, STLCC-Wildwood staff member and club adviser. “Bees are vital to our lives, and it’s exciting to have the opportunity to learn how to care for them.”
STLCC-Wildwood’s bee hives are nestled in the prairie grass, near the pond. The campus’ Green for Life and Science clubs are taking an active role in maintaining the hives.
“I like bees and I enjoy sharing my passion with others,” Allred said. “It’s always fun to work with new beekeepers and help them learn the ins and outs.”
STLCC-Wildwood’s neighbors at the YMCA are also excited about the project. In fact, Jodi Smedley, community outreach and garden manager, played a key role in helping the Green for Life Club get its garden plot up and running, as well as connecting the campus with Allred Bees.
“We’re always looking for new ways to support our garden, and bees are the perfect addition,” Smedley said. “Scott (Allred) is a friend of the Y and a talented beekeeper. We can’t wait for the bees to get to work and start pollinating our gardens.”
While the hives aren’t likely to produce honey for at least a year, Syed Chowdhury, Ph.D., professor of science, said there are other benefits to having bees on campus.
“As a sensory neuroscientist myself, I’ve always been fascinated with bees because of their complex eye structure and broad color vision,” he said. “These topics, as well as the study of insect anatomy and physiology and bee behaviors will provide our students with a more diverse background in biology. The bees are a welcomed addition to the Wildwood campus, and we look forward to incorporating them into our classes and club activities.”