Did you know that honey bees are the most important pollinator of food crops in the world? It is estimated that nearly one-third of all food we consume relies on pollination from honey bees. At Carleton, we are making an impact by increasing the honey bee population one colony at a time.

The colonies are a part of the Biology Teaching and Research Garden, which provides tremendous experiential learning opportunities for our students. It allows students to explore sustainable food production, medicinal plants, concepts in urban farming and other topics in applied life science and ecology. The Garden is also an integral part of research for our graduate students and faculty.

The Background

The Department of Biology has been managing a colony of bees in the research garden for close to five years. During this time, it has been home to unique opportunities for course demonstrations, recruitment events and walking tours.

For example, we do a honey extraction demonstration in September for BIOL 3204 (Diversity of Insects) and talk to the class about applied entomology. In BIOL 3301 (Biotechnology II) we use a bee demonstration to highlight an ancient biotechnology that has modern problems requiring innovative solutions (e.g. pests, diseases and colony collapse). We find that the bees serve as a focal point from which a whole series of topics can be explored and students really enjoy being a part of these sessions.

The Rollout

Your generous donations will help support the expansion of the bee colonies here at Carleton, as we are aiming to purchase a second colony for 2020. Funds raised will also be used to support construction of the bee hives, nucleus of bees, protective bee gear and hive tools. This equipment will expand experiential learning opportunities for our students, as the tools and protective clothing will ensure they can take part in working with the colonies.

The Impact

By expanding the population of bees here at Carleton, you are helping to ensure that our community is making an impact by supporting these powerful pollinators. Your support extends beyond the bee colony itself, as you are also providing unique experiential learning opportunities for our students. Thank you for your generosity!

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