On Campus

    Moving at 'bee speed,' slow and steady. Brandi Lee MacDonald took the Daily News film crew on a tour of her new campus bee hive earlier this week.
July 24, 2013

What's that buzzing sound ...?

Brandi Lee MacDonald — a research associate in the Dept. of Medical Physics and Applied Radiation Sciences, and a McMaster PhD candidate (Anthropology) — can add another line to her resume: beekeeper.

MacDonald is managing a growing colony of roughly 25,000 honey bees situated on the far west side of campus. The facility opened just six weeks ago, and once fully populated, the colony will include more than 60,000 bees.

The longterm goal is to observe everything from foraging and breeding patterns of honey bees to the influence of environmental changes and other external threats. If all goes as planned, the hive will also operate as a teaching and learning resource for the McMaster community and surrounding area.

Funding for the project was secured through an Academic Science Fund (ASF Grant), an OPIRG PIG Grant, an OPIRG Public Interest Grant, the McMaster Science Society and the Faculty of Science. MacDonald has also partnered with University staffers and notable insect researchers Reuven Dukas (professor, Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour) and Marvin Gunderman (entomologist, Department of Biology), along with Hamilton Urban Beekeepers' Amina Suhrwardy to help oversee the project.

Click below for an up-close and personal look at the hive (refresh screen if video doesn't appear):