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Spotlight on a Major Project

June 28, 2018
By: 
Sharon McMillan
Jenna Haack, Rossana Linzalata, Sam Slater, Cam Smaldon, Jillian Westby

An important part of the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program is an 8-month major project. One of this year’s projects, sponsored by the university's Office of Sustainability, is a feasibility study of sustainable beekeeping on campus.

The project is looking into the costs and benefits of introducing and maintaining a beekeeping operation on campus. This includes the cost of hives and operation; whether campus can support a bee colony; bee health and disease; how will honey bees affect the native bees; and the production and marketability of honey. They will also be examining BC’s current population of bees, their health, and what effect climate change may have on the population.

Sustainability initiatives, like this project, can contribute to building the resilience of Vancouver Island’s honey bee population, preserve ecological integrity and educate staff, faculty and students about bees.

Jenna Haack, Rossana Linzalata, Sam Slater, Cam Smaldon and Jillian Westby (L-R in above photo) attended an Introduction to Beekeeping course where they gained experience handling bee hives and bees, and learned in depth about bees and the beekeeping industry. They have been conducting interviews with experts locally, across BC and in Alberta, as well as conducting pollinator surveys on campus to determine pollinator species and quantity, and the interactions between species.