ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University has become an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. NCWU joins many other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.
“Here at Wesleyan, we strive to incorporate biodiversity throughout our campus and recognize the vital importance of bees to our environment, food supply and health,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff. “As we join 170 Bee Campus USA universities throughout the country, we’re proud to be 1 of only 8 universities in the entire state of North Carolina to receive this designation.”
According to Dr. Carl Lewis, NCWU’s Bee Campus USA Program Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, NCWU has created and maintained a pollinator garden for the past several years which contains three active bee hives. The concept of having bee hives on campus was the result of the work of alumna, Carolynn Davern ’18. Caitlin BrabbleRose ‘18, along with several other founding members, helped create The B Club during their time at Wesleyan. This student organization, led by Dr. Ayra Sundbom, allows students to perform research while learning about animals and biodiversity. The “B” in B Club stands for more than just bees— Bees, Bats, Birds, Butterflies and Beasts.
NC Wesleyan takes pride in its commitment to minimizing hazards to pollinators by using nearly no neonicotinoids or other potentially dangerous pesticides. To raise awareness about the plight of pollinators, the University plans to publish a webpage to disseminate information to the campus and external communities including NCWU’s Integrated Pest Management Plan, a list of native plants incorporated into the campus landscape including their bloom time and habitat needs, links to student and faculty research into pollinator issues, and information about upcoming events.
Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon, with offices across the country. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities and campuses to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants, and free of pesticides. Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds, and many others are responsible for the reproduction of almost ninety percent of the world’s flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume.
“The program aspires to make people more PC—pollinator conscious, that is,” said Scott Hoffman Black, Xerces’ executive director. “If lots of individuals and communities begin planting native, pesticide-free flowering trees, shrubs and perennials, it will help to sustain many, many species of pollinators.”
According to Bee Campus USA coordinator Laura Rost, “How each city or campus completes the steps to conserve pollinators is up to them. Affiliates play to their own strengths, designing pesticide reduction plans, improving habitat, and holding events ranging from garden tours to native plant giveaways to bee trivia nights. Each campus must renew their affiliation each year and report on accomplishments from the previous year. Other institutions of higher education are invited to explore completing the application process outlined at beecityusa.org.”
To learn more about North Carolina Wesleyan University’s Bee Campus USA program, contact Dr. Carl Lewis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Bee Campus USA, visit beecityusa.org.
For more information about the Xerces Society, visit xerces.org.
For information about four simple ways to help pollinators, visit xerces.org/bringbackthepollinators/.
About North Carolina Wesleyan University
North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) is a small, private Methodist-affiliated institution with a liberal arts-based core curriculum that prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities. NCWU offers liberal arts, professional and graduate degree programs for traditional, transfer and working-adult students. The skills cultivated by faculty and built into the curriculum include critical thinking and reflection, communication, collaboration, and information technology. North Carolina Wesleyan University delivers education that is personal, practical and purpose-driven. Personal…through mentoring and the connections that are provided. Practical…by helping students develop lifelong skills. Purpose-driven…by helping them fulfill their purpose in life. With students from all over the United States and more than 40 different countries, the University has immense cultural diversity. To learn more, visit ncwu.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.