Do you like bees? Curious about environments? Want to help prevent chocolate and coffee from going extinct? If so, you might be interested in joining the Haverbee Club! Co-founded by bee lovers Charlie Mamlin ‘23 and Blythe McWhirter ‘23, the club supports pollinating populations within the Haverford community and surrounding areas and educates students about the importance of bees in sustaining the Earth’s natural environments.
When Mamlin arrived at Haverford, he sought opportunities to explore his interests in ecology, sustainability, and of course, bees. “My uncle, who studies ecology and species interactions, has spent a lot of time studying bees and their roles in the world’s ecosystems, and inspired me to try and get the club up and running at Haverford,” said Mamlin. “I learned from him that bees are not only a foundational pillar of the world’s ecosystems, but also of our life and society as we know it. The Haverford campus provides a unique opportunity to be a place that can support a great number of pollinators because of its high level of biodiversity.” Thus, Mamlin teamed up with McWhirter and together they founded the Haverbee Club in 2019.
The club meets biweekly on Sundays on Zoom, and they are hoping to begin meeting in-person soon. They work in partnership with Haverfarm to take care of Haverford’s domestic beehives and honey-making operations. Members also work in small groups on activism work, such as building new pollinator gardens by the hives every spring, and educational projects, such as hosting speakers on campus and spreading awareness through social media. With their work, Haverbee strives to inform the Haverford community about the dangerous environmental practices that put bees and biomes at huge risk.
“Nearly 90% of wild plants and 75% of the top global crops depend on animal pollination,” Mamlin explained. “Bees’ impact on our global ecosystems also carry implications for our economies, food supplies—about ⅓ of the total food we eat depends on pollinators–and overall way of life. There are more stresses on our honeybee populations today than there have ever been before, and over time, the wide use of pesticides, global pollutants, and diseases/pests within the honeybee population have made it as important as ever to continue to support our bees in any way we can. They play so many interesting and diverse roles in our lives, and like so many other organizations around the world, the Haverbees club is trying to play our part in supporting our community’s bees.”
The club is eager to host events for the larger Haverford community. “Our hope is to bring in speakers and host other events for the Haverford community so that people can continue to learn how to support their local pollinators both on campus and beyond!” said Mamlin.
The co-heads encourage anyone interested to join the club regardless of prior knowledge and experience. All you need is enthusiasm about bees.
“Bees are incredible animals!” said Mamlin. “They are remarkably smart, small engineers that give us not only honey, but most of our food and ecosystems that we enjoy every single day. Bees are a major pillar of our way of life and the least we can do to show our gratitude is to work to protect them! We welcome everyone into the club regardless of whether or not you know anything about bees. Even though we have club co-heads and other leadership positions, we emphasize a really collaborative environment (like bees)! Whether you want to help plan projects, execute the projects, or both, everyone can find a way to help out. The truth is that bees impact us all, and if you have any interest in bees or how to support them, we would love to have you attend a meeting!”
If interested in the club, you can register on Haverford engage, or reach out to the club email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the club on Instagram @hc_haverbees to stay updated on club information, events, projects, and more.