“Working with the O’Pake Institute, I realized how much interest there is for bees and the craft of husbandry of the hive. It made sense to both grow our network and organization while helping educate people that bees can actually do much better in a city than in the suburbs,” said President, CEO & Master Beekeeper of Uncle B’s Honey Company, Branden Moyer. “We want to make sure the honey our bees produce goes back into the city, feeding the underprivileged with the most privileged food source nature can provide, honey. A special thank you goes to Nigel Walker, I could not have done this without her.”
Through the O’Pake Fellows and High School Internship Programs, students will have the opportunity to track, manage and sell honey out of the new O’Pake General Store, located in the SPARK Business Incubator. Digital Media Marketing Major & O’Pake Fellow, Jennifer Weasner, also designed the new “O’Pake Honey” logo and honey jar label.
“Having honeybees on the roof of CollegeTowne is a prime example of The O’Pake Institute’s mission to support entrepreneurship, student experiential learning, and our community,” said Director of Student and Client Services at the O’Pake Institute Michelle Conway. “If we are advising entrepreneurs, it is only natural that we are entrepreneurial ourselves.”
Students involved with Bog Turtle Creek Farm at the EcoHouse will also be beekeeping & harvesting the honey with training from Moyer. A demonstration beehive will also be housed at Alvernia’s EcoHouse in alignment with the pollinator garden that the student team is launching for the 2023 growing season.
“We are excited to have our EcoHouse team participate in beekeeping training through our community partners so that our students can then facilitate future workshops for others in our community, said Alvernia EcoHouse Coordinator and Faculty Member Dr. Alicia Sprow. Our students will have the opportunity to help harvest the honey and sell it to area residents at local farmers’ markets as part of Bog Turtle Creek Farm’s ongoing role in our community to help increase access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.”
There are also plans underway in partnership with Berks Community Television (BCTV) to provide a live stream of the beehives on the roof.
“This is BCTV’s first opportunity to partner on a live animal cam, and we are excited to offer this behind-the-scenes view of the hive to the Berks County community,” said Executive Director of BCTV Heather Adams.