The buzzing of bees surrounded the Island recently as Visiting Environmentalist and bee expert Steve Rogenstein ’88 met with students and faculty May 3–5.
Sponsored by the Alvord Center for Global & Environmental Studies, Steve’s visit included an Evening of Science talk, classroom visits, work at the Loomis Chaffee apiary, a honey-tasting event with school leaders and members of the Board of Trustees, and work with students on planting a pollinator garden and building insect hotels.
“Bees have been around for 100 million years and are the most efficient pollinators,” Steve said in an interview. “Basically, everything that’s green outside has been touched by a bee.”
Steve emphasized the vital role that pollinators play in creating and maintaining habitats and ecosystems that humans and many animals rely on for food and shelter. “A quote attributed to Einstein is that if the bees die out, four years later, we are going to follow their fate,” he said.
“A highlight of Steve’s visit was having so many students visit the apiary and participate in planting our new pollinator garden,” said Marley Matlack, director of the Alvord Center. “For many students, this was their first time having class ‘outside the Loop,’ and it was fantastic to see how excited they were to get their hands dirty and engage in place-based learning.”
Steve is the founder of the Ambeesadors, a group that helps to connect bee community members and spread awareness and appreciation for bees and all pollinators. Steve also helped launch honey and pollinator festivals in New York City, Barcelona, and Berlin, Germany, where he now lives. In addition, he curates and produces an online speaker series, “Bees, Dreams, and Medicine.” He earned his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Vermont and began his career working as a successful arts marketer, before taking his skills to the world of bees.
A gallery of photos from Steve’s visit is available for viewing online.