Honeybees

Welcome to the Apiary at the Meijer Campus in Holland

Our Goals

The Apiary at the Meijer Campus in Holland is designed to:

  • align with our endeavors and commitment to sustainability here at the Meijer Campus, for our College and the University as a whole
  •  promote the importance of the honey bees in our society through education and awareness
  • provide opportunities for interdisciplinary studies and research by students and faculty

 

What is an Apiary?

An apiary is simply a place where beehives of honey bees are kept. Beekeepers often refer to their apiary as a bee yard. The prefix Api comes from the Latin root, which composes the scientific name for certain types of bees: Apis mellifera.

Bees in flight

Why Honey Bees?

It’s surprising how important something as small as a honeybee is to our society.  We depend on bees for an indispensable amount of our food.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination.  Bees are also responsible for pollinating alfalfa, which is used to feed cattle. 

Alarmingly, in the last decade, bee populations have dwindled.  North American settlers brought honeybees to the United States in the early 1600s and swarms set out across the continent, thriving in the new habitat.  As America expanded, industries thrived as well as the bees, but the two struggled to coexist.  Habitat degradation, along with air pollution and insecticides created the need for the commercialization of beekeeping. 

Currently, there are semi-trucks loaded with beehives hauling bees from farm to farm to pollinate them since there are no longer enough wild bees to sufficiently pollinate domestic crops.  A common question then arises: How long can the current process last?  The commercial beekeepers are facing losses just as severe as the wild bees. 

The installation of the Grand Valley apiary on the Holland Campus will create a home for thousands of bees, which will in turn pollinate local flowers and crops as well as the neighboring VanRaalte Farm Park.  Additionally, through its education component, the apiary will enlighten countless people to the under-publicized subject of bees. The apiary in Holland’s main aim is to participate in national research related to global climate. The Meijer Campus in Holland Apiary would also offer Grand Valley the ability to develop opportunities for honeybee awareness and education in their integral role in our society.

Page last modified July 24, 2012