August 17, 2018

Susquehanna University is the first university in Pennsylvania to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.

“We are very proud to be the first college or university in the state to achieve this recognition,” said Derek Martin, sustainability coordinator at Susquehanna. “We have worked very hard at Susquehanna to make our campus a hospitable environment for honey bees and all pollinators. This recognition is confirmation that we’re doing the right things to support pollinators and our local environment.”

Pollinators like bumble bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, hummingbirds and many others are responsible for the reproduction of 90 percent of the world’s wild plant species and 30 percent of the world’s food crops.

Susquehanna joins more than 100 other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.

Already, the university:

  • Maintains three bee hives at the Center for Environmental Education and Research (CEER) on Sassafras Street
  • Founded the student-run Beekeepers Club, which maintains the bee hives at the CEER
  • Planted two large plots of wildflowers to promote pollination
  • Holds pollinator awareness events during Earth Week
  • Convened a Bee Committee, a subcommittee of the university’s Sustainability Committee

Certified campuses must renew their certification each year by reporting on accomplishments from the previous year.

Moving forward, Susquehanna’s Department of Facilities Management will draft an integrated pest management plan to govern the use of pesticides, herbicides and insecticides, which is already limited on campus and not used at all at the CEER.

Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore., 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.