Honey is a delicious business at Westminster College | Local News

The sweet success is the result of the Westminster Bee Company’s campus collaboration.

The student-led business now sells honey produced at Westminster College’s apiary in the Campus Store and the response has been positive.

The company last spring Dr. Developed by nine students on Helen Boylan’s environmental entrepreneurship course. They are tasked with creating sustainable, student-led efforts with products from the apiary.

One of them, Izaya Bojanac, said someone convinced him to take the course while sampling the apiary’s produce during Westminster’s annual Fourth of July celebration, “but I got a taste for honey.” “I thought it was delicious.”

My favorite part of the whole experience was when the sales actually started.

The business had to be built from scratch and there were important conditions such as discovering how the honey would look on store shelves, designing an attractive label and determining the prices.

“We looked at the brands and focused on Apple Castle,” said Bojanac, a senior biochemistry major from the Harrisburg area, adding that many workshops were held along with extensive marketing research.

“The concept of entrepreneurship is expanding on college campuses,” said Boylan, professor of chemistry and director of the Center for the Environment. “We have a unique inclination from an ecological perspective.”

Boylan added that with each new semester the course is offered, additional aspects of business will be explored.

“We could produce candles or lip balm, or we could have a new marketing tool with videos showing how to cook with honey,” she said.

Students in her class are responsible for packaging and labeling the honey, as well as marketing, label design and pricing.

Grace Matson, with the help of another student and graphic design instructor, Kandice Hartner, created the label, which she describes as attractive, if not too flashy.

“We started with a few designs and narrowed it down and learned things like getting the fonts right and knowing the rules on food labels,” said Matson, a junior graphic design major from Clarion.

“There’s room to grow,” Bojanac said. “Looks can change. It’s important to keep revising.”

Hand-packaged natural raw honey is available for $20 (15 oz.), $14 (10 oz.) and $8 (5.5 oz.) and can be purchased by area residents and students at the Westminster Campus Store.

All proceeds from honey sales support environmental education and maintenance of the college’s apiary. In 2019, the associate professor of ecological sciences of this college Dr. Founded by Patrick Krantz.

There are around 30 hives and around two million bees, which leads to a surplus of honey and provides ample opportunities for students from various disciplines to be involved in the Westminster Bee Company honey business.

Krantz teaches beekeeping — the science of beekeeping — in the spring and fall, and students in those classes help manage the hives and extract honey.

“I’m actually a beekeeper,” Krantz said, noting that he has a background in wildlife and ecology.

“I’ve always had an interest. As a field biologist, I hear about the loss of honey bees and not everyone is able to do anything about it, but my work allows me to continue to do so.

Krantz noted, “There’s nothing like breaking off the top of the hive and seeing the bees come out.”

He also co-teaches a cluster course called BuzzFeed with broadcast and sports communication lecturer Bradley Weaver, in which students post content about Westminster’s honeybees and beekeeping on social media.

“We have to go where the students are, and they’re on their phones,” Krantz said. “Content is what does it.

“It’s the bees.”

He explained that this year there is a good harvest of honey.

The sale of Westminster Bee Company honey took place first during Homecoming and then during the reception open house.

The McKelvey Campus Center will feature a pop-up honey sale by WCB students, an alternative gift market on November 16 and a student environmental symposium on December 1.

Krantz said there are plenty of opportunities for students to run the company they operate from across campus.

“It has a learning curve and there’s room for everyone,” he said. “I’ve never written a business plan or done a press release, but I have kids who can.”

“The businesses here have been incredibly supportive of the college,” Bojanac said, adding that he hopes the honey can eventually be sold at businesses in the New Wilmington area, such as Silk Road, the Pulse coffee shop and a new bookstore.

Boylan said students can participate in the Westminster Bee Company for as long as they want.

“We’re trying some things and figuring it out as we go. You have to be ready to fail, but learn from it.”

He noted that participation in the entrepreneurial side of the business is open to all majors and every grade level on campus.

“This is just the beginning and it’s exciting,” Boylan said.

“It’s fun to see it happen.”

Everyone is coming together towards a common goal, Matson said, adding that the feedback from the campus has been very reassuring.

“People knew the apiary existed, but they didn’t know what to do with it.”

For Matson, it’s a simple observation – “The honey speaks for itself.”

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