The Simpsonian

New Beekeeping Club is causing a buzz

by A.J. Jackson, Special to The Simpsonian

One of Simpson College’s newest clubs is taking the campus by swarm.

Simpson Swarm is a beekeeping club founded by junior Maggie Flowers and senior Rachel Riley.

Flowers was first interested in beekeeping after taking advantage of the free classes offered here in Indianola. With the help of her entomology professor, Clint Meyer, she and Riley decided to bring a new club to Simpson.

“Our main goal is to spread awareness of bees and how beekeeping can be beneficial to the bee population, since they’ve been struggling in recent years, and then also teach students who are interested in how beekeeping works and getting involved in it,” Flowers said.

Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from a male flower to a female flower, which is the only way new seeds can be produced. Since honeybees perform around 80 percent of pollination that goes on worldwide, they are vital to the environment, according to Greenpeace.org.

In recent years, the honeybee population has encountered struggles as it continues to decrease each year. Humans are responsible for the majority of the recent population decrease, with the two biggest factors being pesticides and habitat loss.

In the winter, a typical hive will lose about 5 to 15 percent of its population. But in recent years, that number has skyrocketed to 30 to 50 percent. Reports have even found some hives losing upwards of 90 percent of their population.

However, conservation efforts such as those Simpson Swarm hopes to achieve can help preserve the environment and the honeybee population.

“It is really helpful because it is a way to get involved in conservation,” Flowers said.

She explained how the two hives Simpson Swarm currently care for have already been bundled up for the winter. But that doesn’t mean the club won’t be busy as the cold weather sets in.

“We figured this winter, we want to order a new hive set and start a third hive. Once we get that in the mail, we want to paint it,” Flowers said.

The Simpson Swarm does not yet have any social media accounts or landing pages, but club members hope to set up an Instagram account soon.

Students interested in the joining the Simpson Swarm can contact Flowers at [email protected] more information.

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