There are numerous small clubs at T.C. that go unnoticed, especially in a school with nearly 4,000 students and over 70 clubs. One club that some may not know much about is Bee Club, which is lead by junior Tessa Naughton-Rockwell. Bee Club is “focused on bee conservation through education about bee issues,” said Naughton-Rockwell. She founded Bee Club in the spring of 2017 as part of a collection of STEM projects so people could collaborate about bee issues.
Currently, Bee Club is comprised of mainly T.C. students. However, it also includes mentors from the Northern Virginia Beekeepers Association. “Mentors support us with beekeeping lessons and teach us about beekeeping,” said Naughton-Rockwell. “Pollinator education is so important in keeping the public aware of the state of our environment.” Professional support is also important for gathering information about the important topic of conservation.
One of the main goals of Bee Club is to get their own beehive at T.C. and to raise awareness for bee education at the elementary schools. “Hopefully, we can reach out to three elementary schools at first and then broaden our reach,” said Naughton-Rockwell. They would also like to hold several three-day courses spread throughout the spring for students of all ages.
Naughton-Rockwell would like to see Bee Club become a multi-generational establishment in Alexandria. Ideally, Bee Club would remain active after current members have graduated so that education on this vital topic is not forgotten. Having multiple peer groups would allow Bee Club to become more acknowledged by the community.
Naughton-Rockwell hopes to have an impact on Alexandria by encouraging a much wider community of bee enthusiasts, including beekeepers and students. She hopes to eventually have bee hives throughout Alexandria for elementary through high school students in order to educate the public of the crucial importance of bees.
Bee Club meets twice a month on Tuesday in room B333. The typical routine for these bimonthly meetings are viewing powerpoints on the goals and agenda of Bee Club followed by lessons on beekeeping and conservation. A typical meeting consists of about ten students and last approximately 30 minutes. Bee Club is open to all T.C. Williams students. There are no prerequisites for joining Bee Club and they are always looking for new members.