WILLARD STRAIGHT HALL – To address student mental health concerns during prelim season, the Entomology Department has begun hosting animal therapy sessions in Willard Straight Hall with gigantic, droning swarms of bees.
Department chair Bryan Danforth cited the short supply of therapy dogs on campus as inspiration for the idea.“We asked ourselves, ‘Why should students huddle around two or three puppies when they could just be swarmed by literally thousands of fuzzy little bees?’”
Students have received the bees with great enthusiasm. “After a few stings, you start to go entirely numb,” noted Jacob O’Rourke ‘19. “Once my throat closed up, my CS 3110 prelim was the least of my concerns!”
Commenting on the program’s success, Intro to Insect Behavior professor Ken Crawley remarked, “In lecture, my students can barely stay awake, but during these sessions, they’re galloping around the room, flailing their arms frantically in excitement.” Several of Professor Crawley’s students missed their Tuesday prelim due to hospitalization, but he commended their exuberance in the presence of insects.
After one of the bee colonies unexpectedly escaped, the department reassured students across campus that if a swarm of bees enters your 8am lecture, just remember they’re only there to calm and support you.