Clarionion | Robin Banks
President Barnes is excited to announce a sudden influx of bees across campus.
This spring marks the introduction of our president’s new Barnes’ Bees Initiative!
Starting in early February, Jay Barnes will be making an effort to introduce one of his favorite pastimes to the Bethel community.
“I’ve been interested in beekeeping since the fourth grade,” President Barnes said. “We took a field trip to an apiary, where we got to see the bees in action and taste fresh honey.” This experience provided direction for Barnes’ life, relationships and career.
“I loved the mathematical intricacy of the honeycombs, and one of my first dates with Barb was to a bee farm,” he said. “I first visited Bethel on my way to Homestead Apiaries, which is about 40 minutes away. Honestly, I think the bees led me to Bethel.”
The hives will be located on the south side of campus, just past the baseball field. Several bee-handling training sessions will be offered this spring (dates and locations TBA), and trained students will be allowed to explore the apiary and witness the incredible complexity of bee life.
Also starting in early February, Bethel staff will endeavor to limit Wi-Fi and cellphone signals, both of which disrupt the bees’ internal communication sensors. Accordingly, Bethel’s Wi-Fi network will be restricted to the north end of campus and the main buildings. Cell phone jamming towers will also be placed near Bremer Field and next to the Ona Orth parking lot.
For those of you with bee allergies, don’t worry – our president is thinking ahead! EpiPens will be available for sting victims in the Student Life office, free upon display of student ID and the completion of an incident report form.
“Bees display God’s glory in such a unique way, and I’m overjoyed to share this part of His creation with Bethel,” Barnes said.
Though most students are excited about the bees, a few have expressed concerns.
“I like to pick flowers for my girlfriend – well, this girl I know,” Jacob Perry explained. “The flower beds by the CLC are the best place to find them. Now those plots will be swarming with sharp, pointy, vicious stingers. It’s very discouraging.”
However, the overall reaction to the Barnes' Bees Initiative has been positive. As the buzz has spread around campus, students have found that bee fever is catching.