Honeybees aren’t the only ones who find community important. The unique thing about the study of honeybees is the many fields it touches. There is ecology, entomology and agriculture, as bees are so important to the pollination of crops. For the University of Georgia, the study of bees is a marriage between research and extension. Beekeepers are a close-knit community. It was while she was interviewing local beekeepers that Hagan learned about the stature of the University of Georgia’s honeybee program and Dr. Keith S. Delaplane, Walter B. Hill Fellow, professor of entomology and head of the honeybee research and extension lab at the University of Georgia.
Delaplane only accepts a single graduate student at a time. He pays them through the Schaer endowment and Hagan became the latest recipient. Outreach to the beekeeping community is an important aspect of UGA’s program. In fact, it was through outreach that Delaplane first met Schaer. “He was a sweet and modest man,” Delaplane remembers. Their interactions, brief as they were, led to Schaer’s endowment. Seeing firsthand the benefits of a gift like the one Schaer made has led Delaplane to decide that investing in people is the best use of money. Having been able to help six graduate students through the endowment, Delaplane states, “These are life-changing investments that play out and multiply for decades.”