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Bee Hives Installed on Campus as Part of Sustainability Showcase

May 30, 2017

Bee hives as they are installed on campus, west of the library IU South Bend is now home to two bee hives, as part of the Center for Sustainability’s sustainability showcase. The showcase will consist of 10 city lots on campus that will serve as examples of how to live in an ecologically friendly manner in a city like South Bend.

We want to model here at IU South Bend what can be done in your average city lot of home, explained Krista Bailey, director of the Center for a Sustainable Future.

A huge amount of our food supply is dependent on pollinators if we don’t have bees, we don’t have food. Because of the challenges bees have been facing from loss of habitat and contamination from chemicals, it’s really important to enhance our bee population. In the city we are well poised to do that because we can keep a hive and keep it safe from predators and we can monitor it.

Bees are allowed to be kept in the city of South Bend, and the new bee hives in the sustainability showcase will serve as a model for beekeeping in the city.

The hives are located west of the Franklin D. Schurz Library, facing away downhill to the Purdue Technology Building parking lot.

It is an area where people don’t walk and it’s not a high traffic area which makes it perfect for the bees. It’s close to a water source since we’re right on the river, and there’s lots of plants nearby from the campus garden over by student housing, said Krista.

There is a notice posted in the area so passersby are aware of the hives, but the bees should not pose a risk if they are left alone.

These bees are busy collecting pollen and they don’t really care about us because we have nothing to offer them. These are not aggressive bees they are here to feed themselves. They will defend themselves if they are bothered, so don’t bother them and they won’t bother you, explains Krista.

Roy Saenz, adjunct professor for the Judd Leighton School of Business and Economics, is also a beekeeper and moved the bees in at the end of April, along with two of his business students who expressed an interest in learning beekeeping. Although beekeeping is not yet part of an official curriculum, anyone who is interested in learning how to take care of bees is welcomed to take part.

I would love to hear from them so we can create this initial cohort of budding beekeepers on campus, said Krista.

For questions or more information about getting involved with beekeeping at IU South Bend, contact Krista at kob@iusb.edu or 574-520-4429. Follow along on Twitter @IUSBees to stay up-to-date on the campus bee hives and learn more about bees and their challenges with environmental issues.

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