Boise State Bee team learns business through bee keeping

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Boise, ID – So, what do bees and business have in common? At Boise State University, one club is using bee keeping to teach students how to run a business. Eight years ago, the hives on the third floor of the Student Union Building started off as an environmental elective, and then, about three years ago, the Boise Bee Team took over.

What started off as a hobby for students, has turned into a nice business. 19-year-old Graham Hill joined the club about a year ago. He said they have five hives that produce so much honey he cannot stomach it all.

“If you have even one hive, you are getting lots of honey — more than you can possibly eat,” said Hill. “You get sick of it.”

Each year, the group produces about fifty pounds of honey a year.

“We are thinking, maybe this year, we are gonna harvest twice,” said Hill.

So what do they do with all that honey? They make products like lip balm and hand lotion that are sold at the Boise State Bookstore on campus.

The busy bees generate a couple hundred dollars every quarter from their bookstore sales. The group has about 20 active members. Hill said people join for all kinds of reasons.

“Some people join with the ‘save the bees’ mindset, some people are just interested in the practice and others want to use this to get over the fear of bees,” said Hill

Hill said this club teaches students about their environment and gives them hands-on training on how to run a business. He said the group gets about $2,000 a year in grant money.

“All Boise State clubs receive grant money, including the bee team, but we are one of the few teams that actually generates income,” said Hill.

The team has learned not every year is super sweet, so they put their hard-earned dollars into a rainy day type of fund.

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