Are you interested in pollinators and sustainable agriculture?
Do you want to learn how to help “Save the Bees”?
Come experience the exhilaration of discovering the mesmerizingly busy, yet
remarkably efficient honey bee colony. During this experience-based internship you will
have the opportunity to discover the inner life of bee society. It is an incredibly complex,
yet elegant democracy!
Students will work alongside an experienced beekeeper and educator, learning how to
responsibly care for, manage, and propagate honey bee colonies of all sizes. Students
will learn about the importance of pollinators, including native species, as well as the
necessity of flowering plants for nectar and pollen resources.
Specific tasks may include:
• Beekeeping–monitoring health and productivity, managing swarming, making
splits (new colonies), monitoring for pest & pathogens
• Honey Harvesting– uncapping frames, spinning & extracting honey, bottling &
• Research– participation in ongoing research, quantifying selective breeding
traits, setting up digital temperature and humidity sensors in the hive to study
• Pollinator Gardens– caring for gardens, planting additional flower patches,
helping to develop educational signage
In addition to assisting with the above tasks, each student will select one of the following
unique independent projects:
• Project 1: Document honey bee and native bee use of floral resources across
time, using photos and a checklist. Create a photobook of the flowers, species
names and flowering date ranges from the information collected.
• Project 2: Develop a photo compilation that documents beekeeping activities
across the internship period. Create a photobook and documentary video at the
end of the season using the compiled media.
• Project 3: Enter and analyze a subset of the selective breeding program data to
help identify the strengths of specific queens and queen lineages. Create digital
genealogy flow charts for selected queen lineages using the SimpleMind App
and use those to overlay identified traits to visually assess heritability.
• Project 4: Assist with a new research project on hive thermodynamics. Compare
and contrast potential sensor locations for measuring temperature and humidity.
Create preliminary data graphs using the sensor data. (See broodminder.com
and this explanatory video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b53sPUlZyZ4)
Applicants must be reliable, have attention to detail, the ability to follow instruction and
record data accurately. Previous research or data experience is great, but not required.
Requires the ability to lift at least 30 pounds to your waist. Applicant must not be
allergic to bees. IMPORANT NOTE: you must have transportation to/from the farm,
located approximately a half hour from Williams College.
Musante Farm (musantefarm.com) is a family-owned farm that focuses on breeding
Berkshire County honey bees and educating beekeepers. We also produce delicious
raw honey and organic, pasture-raised chicken eggs. Our bee yard contains 50+
colonies and is situated above picturesque rolling pastures and forestland in the town of
Dalton. (240 Cleveland Rd, Dalton, MA 01226)
Amy has a Masters Degree in ecology, evolution and animal behavior, so not
surprisingly she takes a very scientific approach to beekeeping. She has a strong focus
on evidence-based management and utilizes the power of natural selection extensively,
as she works to fine-tune her own population of regionally-adapted bees. She loves
teaching, has overseen dozens of student interns, and has taught courses on animal
behavior, ecology, and evolution at the University of California.
• May be available. Check these sites for details and deadlines ASAP!
• The Alumni Sponsored Internship Program https://careers.williams.edu/alumni-sponsoredinternship-
• Environmental Studies Department https://ces.williams.edu/student-opportunities/fundingresearch/
Send a letter of interest to [email protected] and include the following:
• Name & phone number
• Your major
• Describe your interest in honey bees and this internship
• If applicable, describe any experience recording data or conducting research
• Explain which of the 4 projects interests you most and why (note: this will not lock
you into that particular project.)
• Why do you think you would be a good fit for this internship?
• Do you know if you have an allergy to honey bees? How do you know?
• Do you have transportation to/from the farm