Guest speaker talks Bees at VGCC


Will Hicks

An expert on bees spoke to Vance-Granville Community College faculty and staff members on Nov. 20 on the college’s Main Campus, as part of a series of “lunch and learn” sessions organized by the VGCC Sustainability Committee. Will Hicks, Apiary Inspector with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, discussed the importance of bees to agriculture and the environment. He also offered information on how to set up a hive. “Part of my job is to help people start beekeeping,” Hicks explained. He is one of six inspectors in the state, and Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties fall within his region of responsibility. “Beekeeping is a great hobby, and almost anyone has the time it takes to manage one or two colonies,” Hicks said. “There is a great demand for honey, particularly for locally-made honey. Because of the demand, it is a hobby that can support itself. The number of people involved in beekeeping is growing every year.” He encouraged attendees to talk with their local Cooperative Extension agencies and their associated “beekeeper clubs.” Hicks related that there has been such a club for many years in Granville County, and one was recently established in Vance County as well.

VGCC has scheduled a “Sustainable Living: Beekeeping Basics” class, starting Feb. 28, 2013. Registration in advance is required. For more information, call Theresa Somerville at (252) 738-3427.

The Nov. 20 Sustainability “lunch and learn” session, along with others that have in the past featured college instructors, environmental experts and local farmers, are part of a college-wide focus on conserving natural resources and alternative energy. VGCC has been recognized by the State of North Carolina as one of the “Top 10 energy-efficient community colleges” in the state.