The Fall 2018 semester was used as a planning stage for the Bee Campus signage project. On November 15th, the Bee Campus USA committee met to discuss the content and design on each of the permanent signs. Additionally, we discussed locations to consider for placing the signage. During Spring 2019, I plan to have the locations of the signage approved by March. Purchasing and orders should be completed by April.
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Projects Updates for Bee Campus USA
- Attached Files:
We have bought the bees and hives, installed the bees, and built the fence around the hives. The bees were not established enough to take much honey from them so we stayed on the safe side and allowed the bees to keep all their honey for overwintering. Recently we bought two more hives and are hoping to split our current hives to have a total of 4 hives at the sustainable farm. As the bees now have foundation built up they should start producing more honey and brood than last year, and we are expecting to be able to harvest ample honey next Fall.
- The first meeting was held on 1/31/2018 with the full committee, and the agenda focused on the overall plans for 2018. The chair reviewed the responsibilities of the committee and delegated responsibilities to each committee member.
- At the 2/14/18, 3/7/18, and 3/28/18 meetings, we planned the content and display of the Bee Campus web page. All code and design were done by two student committee members.
- At the 2/21/18, 3/21/18, and 4/22/18 meetings, we planned the first annual pollinator-awareness event. It was decided that the event would be a film screening and trivia night.
- The integrated pest management plan was developed via email exchanges.
- At the 5/10/18 meeting, we planned the habitat plan and permanent signage.
The exterior Integrated Pest Management program has been in place for several years, and recently the program was formalized and adopted by F&S Grounds. This helps meet iCAP objective 7.2 and supports the student-led efforts to achieve Bee Campus USA recognition.Attached Files:
The current Bee Campus committee at the U of I is working to develop a University Habitat Plan and official web page this semester (Spring 2018). In addition, with funding from the SSC, we will be installing pollinator signage on campus this year. A goal is set to submit our first application for certification by June 2018.
The campus recognizes that we need to support the pollinator population on campus. Potential solutions include creating "Pollinator Pockets" in strategic locations throughout the campus grounds, and encouraging the use of native plants in appropriate landscape locations.
The F&S Landscape Architect is working with campus stakeholders and subject matter experts to develop sustainable landscape solutions that support pollinator populations.
As a new student organization on campus, the Beekeeping Club will install and maintain two new bee hives located at the Sustainable Student Farm (SSF). Any honey produced will get sold at the SSF weekly stand on campus. Students will learn beekeeping skills as well as an appreciation for honey production. In addition, having the bees located at SSF will increase crop output, bettering local food production. The allocated funding will go towards the bee hive installation as well as the bees.
This proposal directly funds:
- Beekeeping personal safety equipment
- Beekeeping supplies
This student-led project provides awareness about pollinators around the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. Students will design and install signage inside and outside of campus buildings, giving facts about native plants and pollinators. This signage will be approved by the University Board as well as Facilities & Services. This project contributes to the campus goal of becoming Bee Campus USA certified and meets Illinois Climate Action Plan objectives. Students will learn more about pollinators and pollinator efforts on campus. The allocated funding will go towards the signage costs.
This proposal directly funds:
Sustainability staff asked Lesley Deem at the Pollinatarium if the proposed pollinator pockets should be within a specific distance of each other, such as every half mile. Ms. Deem replied, “I think if we put them in the best spots available there will be enough coverage. For example, honey bees can fly for a few miles to find food. They use up less of their energy if it is closer but they should be able to find it even it is a mile or two away.”
The Lincoln Avenue Residence Hall Sustainability Living Learning Community Intern, Rachel Daughtridge, called a team meeting with various stakeholders to discuss the process for becoming an official Bee Campus USA.
Prairie Rivers Network, the Illinois affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation, is leading an effort to support monarchs in the local region. The are also working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) on a plan for protecting monarchs in our state. IDNR is planning a statewide event in Springfield on September 9 to share the results of initial surveys.
The Champaign County Sustainability Network (CCNet) participated in the Pollinator Palooza on July 16: "Help plant milkweed at Firefighter Park, 305 S Randolph St, Champaign, Saturday July 16 from 9-12, bring gloves -- The Champaign Park District is transforming Firefighter Park (305 S Randolph) into a butterfly habitat. All City Staff are invited to help plant milkweed this Saturday from 9 am to noon. Champaign joined the Mayor's Monarch Challenge Leadership Circle to save the Monarch Butterfly. In the last 20 years, the Monarch population has declined by over 94%, shrinking from over 1 billion to just 60 million butterflies. Monarchs rely on Milkweed plants, the only plant that they can use to cocoon. The Midwest is an essential breeding ground for the annual Monarch migration from Canada to Mexico, and habitat loss has contributed to their decline."
CCNet also hosted the Pollinator Pocket Garden Tour on July 28: "Walking Tour Begins at Bresnan Center,706 Kenwood Rd, Champaign -- Moving beyond pollinator week in June and to keep the conversation ongoing, CCNET is hosting a tour with, Randy Hauser, Horticulture and Natural Areas Supervisor for the Champaign Park District to learn about "pocket gardens". This will be a great learning experience for people who love plants and want to help the pollinators and the Monarch, but only have small space for gardens."
The City of Champaign and other partners in the community such as the Champaign Park District, Prairie Rivers Network and many others have been working to preserve Monarch Butterfly habitat throughout the community. The City of Champaign joined the Mayor's Monarch Challenge Leadership Circle to save the Monarch Butterfly. In the last 20 years, the Monarch population has declined by over 94%, shrinking from over 1 billion to just 60 million butterflies. Monarchs rely on Milkweed plants, the only plant that they can use to cocoon. The Midwest is an essential breeding ground from the annual Monarch migration from Canada to Mexico, and habitat loss has contributed to their decline. The Champaign Park District hosted a number of Monarch Themed events throughout the summer focused on Monarch Butterfly education and habitat preservation.
City of Urbana staff have planted milkweed seed in landscapes at the Boneyard Creek. They have also designed a butterfly and pollinator garden to be installed south of the City Building next spring. Additionally, Mayor Prussing has signed the Wildlife Federation’s Mayors For Monarchs Pledge. In accordance with the pledge and the Mayor’s interest in supporting monarch populations, staff have assisted in the creation or enhancement of monarch and pollinator gardens with community groups at the Lierman Garden, Urbana Free Library Garden, and Downtown Garden.
Here are some useful references on Native Plants, Pollinators, and related topics.