Helping to bring the bees back - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Helping to bring the bees back

Helping to bring the bees back

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By: Chelsea Priest
cpriest@abc6.com

The bees are buzzing at the Rhode Island College apiary. Two hives have been active since 2011 on their campus in Providence. The bees have a job to do just like any out there, all part of Rhode Island College focusing on being more sustainable.

RIC Sustainability Coordinator, Jim Murphy explains the importance of bees, "all of the fruits and vegetables that we come to appreciate are all pollinated by bees, they pollinate one third of everything you eat."

And as it was for so many of us, the bees had a very tough winter here in Southern New England, but luckily the colonies at RIC were healthy and strong enough to make it through the winter, and are thriving now.

The healthy bees on campus is not the same elsewhere. Over the last decade the bee population has been on the decrease. Murphy explains, "well, it's a combination of three things, colony collapse (resulting from pesticide), also mono-cropping, if the bees are getting only one type of food it's not nutritionally benefiting them, and then there's also pests."

The college is helping curb that decline while also increasing RIC's community garden and making the campus a bit more beautiful. RIC hopes that by raising awareness and educating the public, it can help fight the reasons the bees have been dying off. Murphy goes on, "we ran two courses each year for the past two years and we run labs in the summer time where we can do an actual hands-on type setting."

The college is also hoping to harvest honey from the bees this summer. A healthy beehive can produce 100 lbs of honey per year.

Here is a link for more information about the Rhode Island College bees: https://www.ric.edu/green/beekeeping.php

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