Gonzaga’s Bee Campus USA Certification Renewed

(from left) Dan Harris and Chuck Faulkinberry tend to the apiaries on the Hemmingson Center. (GU photo)
(from left) Dan Harris and Chuck Faulkinberry tend to the apiaries on the Hemmingson Center. (GU photo)

April 05, 2019
Gonzaga News Service
SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University has been recertified by Bee City USA as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA Program. Gonzaga became a Bee Campus USA designee in 2017 — the first educational institution in the state to do so.

Gonzaga supports two apiaries on the east patio, second floor of the Hemmingson Center, one at Bozarth Mansion Retreat Center in north Spokane, and is introducing two more on the roof of the Humanities Building later this spring.

“The apiaries provide awareness of the plight of the honey bee and how important they are to agriculture,” says Chuck Faulkinberry, director of Gonzaga’s auxiliary services who serves as chair of the Bee Campus Committee here. “Over the last couple of decades the number of honey bees continue to decline. Our small attempt to educate provides the opportunity for the community to look at our world and understand what small changes we can make to be good stewards of the Earth’s resources.”

Gonzaga faculty and students use the apiaries to study living communities. They have contributed to creating pollinator habitat with native plants, as well, and campus groundkeepers tend to the pollinator-friendly plants.

Dan Harris, a retired Sodexo food service manager, is Gonzaga’s certified beekeeper. He maintains the hives, leads a fall honey harvest event, and coordinates a bee package installation in mid-April.

Bee City USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, the largest pollinator protection organization in the world. The Bee Campus USA certification program galvanizes campuses and communities to sustain pollinators by providing them with healthy habitat, rich in a variety of native plants and free to nearly free of pesticides. Imperiled pollinators like wild bees, honey bees, butterflies, moths, wasps, bats, hummingbirds and others are responsible for the reproduction of nearly 90 percent of the world's wild flowering plant species and one in every three bites of food we consume, says Phyllis Stiles, pollinator champion at Bee City USA.

To learn more visit Bee City USA online or contact Phyllis Stiles at (503) 395-5367. To learn more about Gonzaga’s efforts to protect and sustain pollinators, contact Chuck Faulkinberry at (509) 313-6940.