200 thousand bees have found their home at AGH UST Campus

Mateusz Drabek - Apiary guardian, photo by Marta Niebylska

This year’s harvest at AGH UST Campus, photo by Mateusz Wójtów

AGH-UST Campus Apiary is home to 200 thousand bees, photo by Marta Niebylska

AGH UST is now home to nearly 200 thousand bees. Several kilograms of honey have been harvested this year from the three hives placed on the roof of Kotłownia AGH Music Studio and in the neighbourhood of STUDIO Club. The programme is a brainchild of beekeeping enthusiasts – the staff of ACADEMICA AGH UST Students and Alumni Foundation.

Three hives were placed at AGH UST campus at the beginning of last spring. Two of them were installed on the roof of „Kotłownia” and the other one within the green area surrounding the STUDIO Club. The hives are inhabited by three bee families – approximately 200 thousand bees altogether. The Club also houses professional beekeeping equipment necessary to harvest honey.

Bees living at the AGH UST Campus are looked after by the staff of ACADEMICA Foundation, with Mateusz Drabek  technical officer at Studio Club and Krzysztof Samek  AGH UTS joinery studio manager acting as apiary guardians. Both completed professional beekeeping courses and were awarded with licences issued by the District Beekeepers’ Association.

The AGH UST’s beekeeping enthusiasts handle both bee care and honey harvesting. The first season has been a qualified success with a yield of 80 kilogrammes of honey in three different varieties: acacia (mostly), linden and honeydew. Bees may cover a distance of up to 5 kilometres to forage so their main source of food are the trees growing in the close vicinity of AGH UST Campus. Interestingly, honey produced in urban areas is considered purer than when collected in rural areas as urban space is free of agricultural spraying.

Next year, the Foundation is planning to expand the beekeeping activity by adding 10 more hives that will be located at AGH UST Campus. The programme founders have already taken steps to enhance vegetation by e.g. planting sunflowers and honey plants. The honey  harvested this year will be used by the Foundation for promotional purposes, yet the originators of the idea confirm that the forthcoming years might see their honey being successfully marketed. Let us note that since 2016 another five hives have been put on the roof of the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics.