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NC University Gets 'Bee Campus' Status

beehives near East Carolina's Lake Laupus
Two hives of western honey bees were installed near East Carolina University's Lake Laupus in May.

East Carolina University is making its campus a better place to be for bees.

The Greenville school is the latest to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, which is run in conjunction with Bee City USA. The goal of the programs is to get communities to create habitats that are friendlier to pollinators by having native flowering plants and reducing or eliminating pesticide use.

At East Carolina, that apparently involved creating a special committee, posting awareness signs, coming up with a list of pollinator-friendly native plant species, holding an educational film screening and installing beehives.

The university also published a webpage with information about student and faculty research into pollinator issues.

“College students, faculty, administrators and staff have long been among the nation's most stalwart champions for sustainable environmental practices,” Griffin Avin, East Carolina's chief sustainability officer, said in a news release. “We are very proud to continue this tradition here at ECU and lead by example in becoming the next Bee Campus USA.”

Both Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA are initiatives of Oregon-based nonprofit Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

There are nine campuses and 19 municipalities in North Carolina with the Bee City designation, including Belmont, Davidson, Gastonia, Matthews and Mount Holly in the Charlotte metro area.

In South Carolina, Greenwood, Lake City and the Medical University of South Carolina have the designation.

You can learn more about the initiatives at beecityusa.org.