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Bellarmine Bees Arrive

By Griffin Rogers

There’s a new buzz around campus, and it’s the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club’s new bees. The club president Hanah Carter founded the Resident Student Organization last year.

The club’s honeybees pouring out of their new hive.

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

“I had gone previously to a university that had a beekeeping club, and there’s so much good green space here at Bellarmine for it, so I thought it would be a good way to connect students with the environment,” Carter said. “The student body and faculty have been incredibly receptive and supportive and helpful.”

The beekeeping club’s bees were donated by members of the Bellarmine family, said Dr. Kate Bulinski, an associate professor in the department of environmental studies and faculty co-advisor of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

“They were actually given to us by a set of alumni beekeepers, Cody Gibbons and his wife, Brooke Gibbons, and also from Dr. Jessica Hume from health humanities here on campus,” Bulinski said. “They are European honeybees, which are the typical type people keep in North America, but I believe they are specifically Italian honeybees.”

The environmental science department at Bellarmine will be able to use the bees for research and to help with other projects, like the Bellarmine Farm that is located behind Allen Hall, said McKenzee Masters, the beekeeping club’s treasurer.

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

“The farm is over by the bees, so they help with the production of food and fruit and stuff,” Masters said. “We just kinda try and support each other, all the environmental science clubs.”

The beekeeping club hopes to eventually use the bees more around campus said Masters.

“We would really love to like be able to collect the honey eventually and like use some of the wax to make like crafts and stuff to sell to the Bellarmine community,” Masters said. “This first season, we’re not going to take anything from them, so they’re able to winter and be safe and such.”

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

While the bees prepare for winter, the club is training new students to beekeep.

“We’re hoping to get more people out over to the farm and get more students acclimated to beekeeping so eventually other students can go there on their own,” Masters said.

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

“So right now, Hanah is an experienced beekeeper, as well as Dr. Bulinksi and Dr. Andrew J. Stone Porter, so there has to be someone over there with previous experience to beekeep,” she said.

For students afraid of beekeeping, the club also participates in a variety of other environmental activities like building pollinator gardens.

“Last year, the Louisville Zoo sponsored a pollinator habitat right outside of Newman Hall, so we got that put in with the help of the beekeeping club and we have plans to put two more in this year,” Bulinski said.

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

The club is also seeking to start projects involving native pollinators and local wildlife.

“We want to do something with native bees because the pollinators of a majority of plants are native bees, but also flies and beetles and other things,” Carter said. “We’re also hoping to do stuff with birds, like the native purple martin or eastern bluebird, and try to help support their habitats.”

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

Even if Bellarmine students are too busy to participate in a club, there are still ways they can help.

“There’s a lot of volunteering that can be done at the farm, and a lot of people don’t know that’s where the bees are,” Carter said. “If you’re interested in community gardening or things like that, that’s a great way to help the bees if you don’t want to commit to a club or commit to beekeeping.”

Photo courtesy of the Bellarmine Beekeeping Club.

The Bellarmine Beekeeping Club meets weekly every Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon in Pasteur Hall, Room 105, until club committees are formed. Eventually, the club will switch to a biweekly schedule.

Students can keep up with the club by following it on Instagram at @bellarminebeekeeping and by visiting the club’s Engage page on the One Bellarmine website.

Students with questions regarding the club can also reach out to Carter at or Bulinski at


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