UNF abuzz for World Bee Day: Workshop highlights ongoing bee shortage

University celebrates Bee Campus USA affiliation

Ashley Harding joins us from UNF as they celebrate World Bee Day.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – UNF is putting a spotlight on World Bee Day -- and the goal is to get more people involved in putting a stop to an ongoing bee shortage.

The university held a free workshop Friday at the Ogier Gardens on campus. People not only got to hear from a beekeeper, they learned how to make what are called “bee hotels.” In short, they’ve converted bird nests lined with different bamboo and other sticks. It allows the bees to efficiently make nests and lay eggs.

As one of the coordinators told News4JAX, bees do so much more than make honey. They help us survive too.

“Bees are really, critically important to the colonization of our food system and food crops. About one out of every three bites of food on your dinner plates come from food that was pollinated by a honeybee,” coordinator Kevin Anderson said. “Lots of things are dependent for feeding all kinds of critters, including humans. Bees play a critical role in that.”

Anderson said if the bee shortage isn’t resolved, it could lead to more food insecurity.

UNF was also celebrating achieving affiliation with Bee Campus USA.

UNF said the Bee Campus USA affiliation, which includes universities around the country, will be renewed on an annual basis and signifies UNF’s commitment to raising awareness about protecting pollinators in the Northeast Florida area, creating habitats with native plants and practicing an environmentally friendly pest management plan.

The Bee Campus USA program is affiliated with Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon. Bee City USA’s mission is to galvanize communities and campuses around the nation to sustain pollinators by providing them with a healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free from pesticides.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.