Media Department: Stephanie Kloss
Phone: (802) 578-5413
“I'm an environmental scientist by training, and I'm always thinking about ways to demonstrate the intricacies of ecosystem dynamics. The bees showcase this beautifully as they provide an essential ecosystem service through pollination and thus have direct link to our food system and natural landscape. It's also incredibly satisfying to introduce students of all ages to the bees and dispel the notion that honey bees are aggressive or scary. When you stand hive side and watch, feel, and listen to them fly all around you, it's a transformative experience."
In addition to establishing the Champlain Apiary as a place to provide experiential learning opportunities for students, Kristin integrates experiential learning into her classes. In the spring, she teaches a Core class about the communities of the Amazon River basin. As part of the class, students travel to Peru to collaborate with rainforest communities on managing tropical, stingless bees and teaching non-destructive harvest techniques.
We wanted to know why Kristin founded the apiary and how it’s grown since:
“I started the apiary in 2013 in order to provide experiential learning opportunities for students of all majors. Since then, students have created its logo, brand, and marketing materials, developed curriculum for our younger visitors, fundraised for infrastructure improvements and education initiatives, planted bee-friendly landscaping, lobbied for pollinator protective policy reform at the state level, produced bee-related films and video games, developed new beeswax products, and bottled and sold honey every year in order to financially support the apiary. Because of this student investment, we have been able to expand our educational reach to host many summer camps and elementary schools in the Burlington area, which has made our apiary an important community resource.”
Apiary Fun Facts