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Buzzworthy: UNCW Named Affiliate of Bee Campus USA

Thursday, December 09, 2021

As the state’s coastal university, UNCW takes pride in preserving its natural resources. North Carolina has more beekeepers than any other state. Its agricultural system, a driving economic component, relies heavily on pollination, mainly by honeybees.

Campus landscaping does not use neonicotinoids, pyrethrin or imidacloprid based products, which are harmful to pollinators. For this and other sustainable practices, including having rain and pollinator gardens on campus, UNCW has been named an affiliate of Bee Campus USA, a program that recognizes, supports and encourages pollinator conservation on college campuses.

UNCW Honors student Jake Bergen ’23, a peer educator within the Office of Sustainability, led the initiative to apply for the affiliation. Jacob Inabnit (landscape services superintendent), Kat Pohlman (chief sustainability officer), Anthony Snider (associate professor of environmental sciences) and coastal engineering student Jacob Stasiewicz ’22 were also involved in the effort.

Bergen hopes the status will increase student interest in apiculture and the problems facing pollinators.

The UNCW Beekeeping Club was founded in 2017 by students inspired by Snider’s courses. “Keepers of the Bees” documents how the group turned their passion for bee preservation into an active, thriving campus community of honeybee advocates. Six current and former club members are featured in the film, which was created by the UNCW Office of University Relation's media production team. The film won the Best Documentary award at the 2021 Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival and premiered on PBS NC in July.

-- Caroline Cropp

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