The East Georgia State College Foundation recently received two grants from the Mill Creek Foundation to supply honeybees for the EGSC Bobcat Apiary and to establish a wildflower pollinator garden at the main campus.
The EGSC Bobcat Apiary was established in 2015 on the campus to help educate local school groups and visitors, and EGSC students, faculty and staff about the importance of pollinators. In 2016, the college was designated as the 14th Bee Campus USA affiliate in the nation. The current project involves expanding the apiary by purchasing honeybees to set up eight honeybee hives. Five hives will be setup in the apiary on the main campus and the other three hives will be installed at the college’s second apiary located off campus. The installation of the honeybees will expand upon the college’s efforts to educate the community and the college of the importance of bees in the environment and promote pollinator awareness and habitat protection.
The hives will be installed by EGSC students who are interested in working with honeybees and members of the Bobcat Beekeeping Club which was established in the fall of 2019. This project is hoped to establish self-sustaining apiaries so the stronger hives can be used to boost colonies that have been weakened due to disease, pests or queen loss. It’s also a goal of the project to increase outreach, student involvement, and the interest of beekeeping to the point that more people become beekeepers.
The second project receiving a grant involves the purchase of a tiller, topsoil and wildflower seed to grow a wildflower garden on the EGSC campus. As a Bee Campus affiliate, EGSC committed itself to promote pollinator education and the establishment of and protection of pollinator habitats, both on campus and in the community. The goal for this project is to finish establishing an approximately 200 square foot wildflower garden and the establishment of additional gardens. The pollinator gardens will also help pollinators by providing them with healthy habitats.
Each project costs approximately $1,200 and is planned to be completed in the spring.
“I would personally like to thank the Mill Creek Foundation’s Board of Directors for funding these projects,” said Dr. Paul Cerpovicz, EGSC professor. “The foundation has been absolutely wonderful over the years in providing support to EGSC in its efforts to increase the educational and cultural opportunities available for its students, faculty and staff, as well as the local community. I am very grateful for their support in helping us to fulfill our Bee Campus USA goals to help promote educational awareness and appreciation of honeybees and other pollinators, and the establishment and protection of their habitats.”
To learn more about the Bobcat Apiary, visit http://www.ega.edu/bobcat-apiary.