Three Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine students and a Professor of Science Education at the school will be receiving Awards of Distinction from the Friends of the Sands Point Preserve in recognition of their volunteer work at the preserve in the BeeWhispering program. The educational program supports local honeybee colonies and raises public awareness of the bees’ beneficial effects on the environment. The award ceremony will take place on May 4 at the organization’s Gold Gala reception.
Science Education Department Chair Patrick J. Gannon, PhD and medical students A.J. Blood, Branson Sparks and Matthew Katz are being recognized for their educational outreach programs and their excellent presentations at the beeyards for visiting school groups, local families, and even the Long Island Small Farmers. At the School of Medicine, the students also work with honey bee colonies located at Hofstra University as part of a research study investigating if and how natural honey may aid in desensitizing patients with seasonal pollen allergies (spring fever).
“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the Friends of Sands Point,” said Dr. Gannon.”Their interest and attention to the global crisis for honeybee colonies are timely, since the media has finally brought the contributions of this unassuming insect to agriculture into the public eye.”
Over the past five years bee colonies have suffered from a spectrum of problems and “colony collapse.”
“It’s an honor to be a part of this program and to introduce honey bees back into the environment on Long Island,” said Matt Katz. “Not in a million years did I ever think this would be something that I would be interested in, but I have really come to love it and it’s a rewarding and fun thing to do.”
Also being honored for their work with the BeeWhispering program are Edie Katz and Nancy Kheck, PhD, Dr. Gannon’s wife. The Gannons also raise honey bees at their home on City Island and produce City Island Gold.
Dr. Gannon and the second-year medical students worked along with Edie Katz and Friends Executive Director Jean-Marie Posner to initiate the very successful BeeWhispering program at the Preserve.
"Our goal is to educate the community about the importance of preserving honeybees through the ‘colony collapse’ epidemic that is having a disastrous affect on the species, said Posner. “We are very grateful to all of our honorees for the tremendous work they done have to establish this important program at the Preserve.”
With Ms. Katz’s support, Dr. Gannon, Dr. Kheck, and Friends Executive Director Jean-Marie Posner initiated the very successful BeeWhispering program at the Preserve.