UConn has been certified as a Bee Campus since 2017. The initial certification was spearheaded by UConn PIRG (now called Praxis), a student activist organization on campus. This group originally filled out the application and raised awareness about pollinator species through events and engagement. The Office of Sustainability now leads the application process each year and organizes the UConn Bee Campus USA Committee.
What is A Bee Campus USA?
This certification is given by the Xerces Society to university campuses that effectively:
- Create and assemble yearly a Bee Campus USA Committee
- Establish and enhance pollinator habitat on campus
- Reduce the use of pesticides
- Engage in related service-learning projects
- Host events and coordinate outreach about bees & pollinators
- Develop and implement signage about pollinator protection
- Offer courses that include information on pollinator conservation
- Maintain social media and online accounts to post Bee Campus updates
Learn more about these commitments on the Bee Campus website.
What does the Bee Campus USA Committee Do?
Our current Bee Campus USA Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and students that are involved in pollinator-related activities on campus. This includes representatives from the Spring Valley Student Farm; Beekeeping Club; EcoGarden Club; EcoHouse; University Planning, Design & Construction and more! The committee meets biannually to discuss and collaborate on pollinator-related events, initiatives, and related efforts on campus. The UConn OS compiles this information for the recertification application each year, which is due in February.
For More Information:
- Recommended Native Pollinator Plant Species List for Connecticut - this comprehensive list has information about blooming times and other fun characteristics of native pollinator plants.
- Sustainable Plants for Connecticut Schools and Plant Suppliers List - another useful list of native plants created by UConn Extension.
- UConn's Integrated Pest Management Plan - updated in November 2019.
UConn Bee Campus USA Member Spotlight
The UConn Spring Valley Student Farm (SVSF) leads many pollinator-related activities, events, and outreach throughout the year. The resident student farmers host Farm Fridays each semester, where members of the UConn community can visit the farm to volunteer and learn more about the great work that they do related to sustainable agriculture. The SVSF uses organic methods to manage their crops and farm activities and they promote the addition of pollinator habitat through initiatives such as milkweed plantings. Recently, the SVSF revitalized their Edible Forest Garden, planted additional native species, and hosted an event where they invited the campus community and farm families to visit the space and learn more about foraging.