We have Bee Hives On Our Roof?
Honey bees are one of the most vital species on our planet, and MSU students and faculty have united to help – we are working together to create a safe habitat for honey bees to live and flourish on the Bailey Hall GREENroof! Look up – You can view our bee colonies out on our GREENroof on the southeast side. Soon you will be able to try honey from our hives in the dining halls!
Why are Bees Important?
- Bees are the most important pollinators of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and crops that feed us!
- Pollination is an essential part of producing healthy food.
- If you want to grow and eat local food, then taking care of your local pollinators is part of the picture.
- It is a hard time to be a bee – flowerless landscapes make it difficult to find food, while new pests, pathogens, and pesticides are affecting their health.
- As an ecological community we feel ethically responsible to provide a safe environment where honeybee colonies can thrive!
- Honey bees are not naturally aggressive towards humans. They won’t bother you, if you don’t bother them.
- Our honeybees don’t want anything to do with us! Their goal is to find flowers and produce enough honey to survive through the winter.
- Bees will typically forage up to 4 miles away for food!
- Honey bees like to fly out and up to find their food. They will rarely drop down to ground level, except to visit a flower!
I saw a bee, is it from our hives?
PERHAPS. This is a honey bee – If it looked fuzzy and golden colored, it may be one of ours. Our workers are unlikely to bother you – they die when they sting, and only eat nectar and pollen from flowers.
NOPE, not ours – this is a Yellow Jacket and technically not even a bee! They are more aggressive – they can sting multiple times, and are interested in other food sources like your lunch or your soda!
Who Benefits from Bees?
A main component of our bee collaboration is honeybee education! Our RISE bee team students get to be hands-on with the hive and learn how to care for honey bees. They are also building skills in project management, teamwork, risk management, marketing, and communication.
Along with RISE students, other MSU students and classes are allowed to visit our hives! Our colonies are used as a tool to educate our Spartan community about the importance of honeybees in our food systems.
To become involved with the Bee Team visit the MSU Bee Club Facebook at www.facebook.com/MSUBaileyBees
Who is Involved in this Project?
This project is funded by the Office of Campus Sustainability Be Spartan Green Grant, and is a collaboration between students in the RISE program and Dr. Meghan Milbrath from the Pollinator Initiative Project at Michigan State University. Dr. Laurie Thorp, Heather Shea Gasser, and Dr. Matt Raven provide RISE program guidance, and Dr. Zachary Huang, Dr. Walter Pett, and Dr. Gabriel Ording provide support from the Entomology department. Residential Education & Housing Services (REHS) is working with us to assure student safety throughout the project.
Read all about it! The MSU State News covered the story on April 22, 2015. Read their article here!
Download a poster version of this information.