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Georgian College is buzzing with its new pollinator status


Georgian College has a new designation, and the campus is buzzing.

Bee City Canada has recognized Georgian as a 'Bee Campus'.

"There's a number of criteria. They sort of measure your efforts towards encouraging pollinators and bees especially. So we built the domicile last year, and this year we introduced two beehives on our roof," said Bryan Hunt, Dean of Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation.

The title is given to schools that are committed to creating, maintaining and improving pollinator habitats. There are currently 19 bee campuses in Canada.

Last year, Georgian built a Bee Lodge – a home for native pollinators who don't make their own hives and need a place to live.

"We built it specifically to encourage pollinators to stay in the area, to work with our plants and our flowers that we had started the previous year," he said.

Hunt says the focus for Georgian College has always been to make the campus a learning laboratory.

"A few years ago, we started tapping our own maple trees and producing maple syrup. Now we're going to start producing honey from flowers and pollinating plants on our campus," Hunt said.

Madyson Pepper, a first-year culinary student, said the hands-on learning is part of why she chose to attend Georgian.

"The bees are super important because not only do they help with producing the honey and whatnot, but they also help with the rest of the garden life we have on campus here in our garden because they'll help pollinate all the produce we have growing," said Pepper.

"We're trying to connect culinary and hospitality with where it all comes from. Restaurants can't exist without the agriculture industry, and neither can hotels. And so really it's a matter of demonstrating that entire cycle of consumption back to reuse," Hunt said.

Two cameras were installed to provide 24-hour constant coverage of the activity of the beehives. The college is now working on providing that feed to students and staff. Top Stories

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