One Thousand Bees in Hahne Hall

Large crowd of students wearing masks in the Hahne Hall lobby, with Rob Abowitz holding up a frame of honey bees.Local beekeeper and associate director of
Residence Life Rob Abowitz brought the bees
On September 14, 2021, there was a buzz of excitement in Hahne Hall’s recreation area on north quad.

The buzz was that there were 1,000 bees in the lobby. It turns out the Environmental Awareness Program (EAP) Living Learning Community was hosting a program in the lobby.

Hahne Hall Resident Director Maggie Potter reported, “The bee program was a wild success in Hahne! Our students were curious about what the event would entail because we purposely marketed it with some mystery [“1,000 Bees in the Lobby”], but were immediately hooked by the engaging presentation. They got to try fresh honey, see live bees up close, and take a fun bee quiz.”

Rob Abowitz, local Oxford beekeeper and associate director of residence life, brought a frame of bees (with the queen) in a plexiglass display case. “The bees can survive for several days in this display case and nobody is at risk of getting stung,” said Abowitz. “It’s a great way for people to watch the bees doing their thing up close.”

In the case, students could see the queen laying eggs, nurse bees caring for eggs and larvae, and more.

“Tasting honey straight from the comb was incredible,” said Stefanie Stalzer, a first-year Zoology student from Commack, New York.

Hailey Fisk, a first-year Psychology student form Cincinnati really enjoyed the interactive and informative nature of the program. “I would 100% recommend the program to those who know nothing about bees and bee enthusiasts alike!”

After the event, several students stayed late to ask more about how they could get involved in different bee-focused local organizations. One student said that she loved getting to try local honey. Another shared that he thought it was cool that the presentation brought everything around full circle, connecting the apiary history back to Miami and Lorenzo Langstroth, an Oxford resident from 1858 through 1887 who is considered the father of modern-day beekeeping.

The EAP LLC hosts several environmentally-focused programs each year. They recently partnered with the Miami EcoReps for a camping trip at Hueston Woods and are considering a stargazing program.