By Kyle Lakin
As of Oct, 4, CI is the first four-year university in California to be named a Bee Campus USA. This designation has been granted to 51 campuses across the nation so far by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. The designation means that CI is a sustainable habitat for pollinators, according to a CI news press release.
CI had to take seven steps to become a Bee Campus USA according to Bee City USA, an initiative of the Xerces Society. The first step was establishing a committee and developing a habitat plan. This was followed by hosting awareness events. After that, CI needed to sponsor and track student service-learning projects to enhance pollinator habitats. CI also needed to offer pollinator focused courses and/ or workshops. The next step after that was to post signage to educate the campus and the broader community. Moving forward, CI also needs to maintain a web presence to share Bee Campus USA news and activities and to apply annually for renewal.
Pollinators play a very important role in the world. They help plants reproduce so we can have fruits, vegetables and nuts. Pollinators also support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather and support other wildlife. This makes them extremely valuable to our ecosystem.
The population of pollinators has been declining and CI is taking a step to help stop that. CI becoming a Bee Campus USA is a great way to show how we care for the environment and the economy. Along with helping out the population of pollinators, there are many agricultural spaces around our campus that bees and other pollinators can pollinate. Being a Bee Campus USA means that we will see local food production and nursery plants improve.
CI now has 20 active bee hives. For students and faculty, this means we will be seeing more bees and other pollinators. They will also be able to see the gardens and plants that were planted. Students can also take courses to learn the basics of beekeeping.