Society features

Club Feature: AU Beekeeping Society creates space for students to cultivate sustainability on campus

Meet the AU Beekeeping Society, a club dedicated to cultivating a sustainable environment, spreading knowledge about beekeeping, and educating members of the AU community about the importance bees have on the planet. environment.

According to club president and current College of Arts and Sciences senior DJ Daniels, AU Beekeeping offers a way for students to take an active role in the fight for a brighter, greener future.

“We are definitely a cornerstone of sustainability,” Daniels said. “[It’s] also just a good place for environmentalists [students]or simply students who are involved in the environment in terms of sustainable development on campus.

UA’s beekeeping is a way to engage students in why bees are so important to the environment and gives them hands-on experience in hive care, said Kira Fontana, senior and vice -President of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“We are an environmental club, but thanks to our love of bees and beekeeping,” Fontana said. “Our goal is awareness and education.”

the United States Department of Agriculture states that bees are a key element in agricultural production and the proper functioning of the ecosystem. Bees and the pollination they provide are directly linked to the nursery industry; The performance of the seed plot and the regeneration of plant communities in rehabilitated areas are both influenced by the crucial pollination provided by bees. And despite urbanization and agricultural intensification, native bees are still able to provide abundant crop visitation in diverse landscapes, contributing not only to financial gain, but also to a diverse, healthy, and balanced ecosystem. .

A 2019 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that urbanization can reduce and degrade habitat for bees and other pollinators. Increased urban development harms pollinators through a range of direct and indirect effects, many of which include urban warming, frequent and increased exposure to environmental contaminants, and habitat loss and alteration.

AU Beekeeping offers an off-campus program where members can become certified beekeepers and an event called “Jeapoard-BEE,” a quiz competition that tests participants’ knowledge of bees.

AU Beekeeping’s Certified Beekeeper program is offered through the DC Beekeepers Alliancea nonprofit beekeeping association in Washington, D.C. Daniels said the AU Beekeeping hopes to take a more active role in this program and continue to collaborate in the future.

Like its members, AU Beekeeping has recently taken a more active role in helping to foster a culture of sustainability. The AU Beekeeping Society participated in a funds where he helped renovate a green roof resting on beehives at the Mary Graydon Center.

The coronavirus pandemic briefly hampered the group’s plans. Fontana said the club were not organizing activities during the coronavirus because it was difficult to engage with people.

“It was really tough,” Daniels said. “We decided to scrap the 2020-2021 year completely because it was too difficult to post things online and get things in order. Then coming back this year was definitely a struggle.

However, Daniels admits that this brief time frame had its own benefits:

“It gave us an opportunity to start fresh, gave us time to reset,” she said, “And now we have a brand new electronic board coming. It was awesome, and we are able to hold more events than we have in the past as well.

For Fontana, AU Beekeeping is more than just a sustainability club: it provides a space for like-minded students to work together on something they care about.

“I really like the friendship and community aspect, it’s really exciting to be around other students who also think bees are cool or want to help the planet in some way,” Fontana said. “It’s really fun to share this passion for these little creatures that are so ecologically important and do so many pollinators. They’re so critical and that’s really important, especially as we become more urbanized.

More from The Eagle