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Alumni Profile

A-B Tech harvests its first jar of honey.

Campus Bee Hives Produce First Honey A-B Tech harvested its first jar of honey after an apiary, or a bee yard, was established on campus in Spring 2016 by English Instructor Erik Moellering, Biology Instructor Russ Palmeri and former Sustainability Technologies Instructor Josh Littlejohn. Moellering and Palmeri presented the official first jar to President Dennis King.

Welding Technology Graduate Advances to Civil Engineering Career

The hives were built on campus for the educational opportunities they provide to biology courses and STEM Friday presentations. The hives are protected by an electric fence on campus.

Evins Snipes credits A-B Tech for guiding him to a career, rather than a job. After graduating from the Welding Technology program, he was able to land a position in the fabricating shop on the USS Yorktown CV-10 at Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston, S.C.

The honey bee colony, best classified as a “superorganism”, is a biological marvel.  “The level of coordination and communication and the biological means the bees use to achieve this is truly magnificent,” Moellering said.

“I actually got a lot, not just welding experience, but life experience,” Snipes said. “My instructors taught me so much, including responsibility. They gave me a career, not just a job to go to, but something I am proud to be doing.”

Moellering also received a mini-grant from the Honeybee Conservancy/Anthophilous for the bee yard and a beekeeping beginner kit, which included: two bee hive bodies, hive frames, telescoping metal cover, bottom board, inner cover, entrance feeder, bee smoker and fuel, bee brush, and hive tool. The College also received one queen bee, and her court, and a three-pound package of bees.

Snipes came to A-B Tech in 2005 at a time when he said he was lost. “I had dropped out of Appalachian State at 21. I worked different jobs, but I didn’t see a future in it.” He graduated from A-B Tech in August 2007 with an associate degree. After a few years in Charleston, he decided to go back to college in earn a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, graduating, cum laude from The Citadel. He was hired by a large firm and now travels all over the country working on projects.

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Evins Snipes

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