On September 22, EGSC hosted a community event to extract the nearly 80 pounds of honey collected from the campus's beehives this past year. Credit: EGSC

On September 22, East Georgia State College (EGSC) hosted its third annual campus and community Honey Extraction Party! Approximately 50 people of all ages from the campus and the community attended the event to learn more about honeybees, how honey is extracted, and to lend a hand in the process.

For most of those present, the event was a new and very sweet tasting and sticky experience! All of those attending the event had the opportunity to help uncap frames of honey, load and spin the extractor, filter the honey, and bottle a sample for themselves.

East Georgia State College’s main campus in Swainsboro, Georgia, currently has ten beehives that are maintained by faculty, staff, and student members of the campus’s Beekeeping Club. The campus established its apiary in 2015, and in 2016 EGSC became a Bee Campus USA affiliate, with the aim of promoting honeybee and pollinator awareness and the protection of their habitats to all members of the community.

With this in mind, EGSC students, staff, and faculty visited local schools bringing along honeybees in an observation hive, read pollinator books to secondary school classrooms, and donated books on honeybees and pollinators to the classroom teachers and the schools’ media center.

Generous support from the Georgia Beekeepers Association’s License Plate Proceeds Committee (LPPC), and Emanuel County’s Mill Creek Foundation, have allowed the college to purchase large numbers of a variety of educational books on pollinators and pollinator gardening appropriate for a wide age range of people. These materials are distributed free of charge during many campus and community events throughout the year, along with pollinator activity sheets, wildflower seeds, pollinator-friendly African Blue Basil plants propagated in EGSC’s greenhouse, and samples of campus honey.

The goal is to increase people’s awareness of and appreciation for all pollinators and to better understand how important they are to everyone’s lives and the environment.

Dr. Schecter
Photo Courtesy East Georgia State College

To help achieve this outcome, the campus hosted a community event to extract the nearly 80 pounds of honey collected from the campus’s beehives this past year. People of all ages and backgrounds showed up to observe and help with the extraction and straining of the honey. Everyone present was able to sample the honey and bottle a jar of it to take home.

The honey extraction was scheduled to coincide with the restart of EGSC’s Vision Series that had been on hold since the Covid-19 pandemic. East Georgia’s Vision Series brings speakers and cultural events to campus to freely benefit the college and surrounding community.

The speaker for the Vision Series that night was former Georgia Governor, and now Chancellor of the University System of Georgia, Sonny Perdue. Chancellor Perdue took a turn in spinning the honey extractor and then bottled a few jars of EGSC honey for himself. Anyone interested in seeing additional pictures of Chancellor Perdue and others taken during the honey extraction, as well as the many other campus events, are encouraged to visit EGSC’s Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/egcpr/albums/with/72157715577144613.

EGSC Honey
Photo Courtesy East Georgia State College

East Georgia State College will continue to expand upon its efforts to promote honeybee and pollinator education to its students, staff, faculty, and the community. The campus and community Honey Extraction Party was a fun and educational way to help reach these goals. Everyone participating seemed to have a great time and thought the honey was delicious. It Is hoped that this event will continue far into the future!

by Harley Strickland Smith, EGSC