EC wins grant to house bees atop Schiable

Victoria Martin

News Editor

EC has received a grant to establish a beehive on the roof of the Schaible Science Center in order to study how to alleviate the declining bee population. 

EC students initially expressed concern about the grant, announced April 4 by the Honeybee Conservancy. However as more information became available students who attended the information session were relieved.

“If they brought wasps over, I would’ve been gone, but clearly they’re doing the right thing with the bee shortage and all. Bees are sweet creatures,” Denny Dee, an EC junior, said in an online interview.

EC students initially voiced concerns on Facebook about what the project might cost the school, arguing that the money should be spent elsewhere. 

However, the project will not cost the school any money as it will be covered entirely by the grant.

“I am in full support. Bees are like dogs with wings,” said EC junior Alex Lundrigan.

The President of the Illinois Beekeepers Association, Peter Soltesz, held an information session in Illinois Hall to placate student concerns about the hive’s introduction. 

While much was discussed during both the presentation and in the later Q&A session on the matter of the declining bee population, when Soltesz tried to direct the conversation to possible students concerns no one responded.

“I came here expecting an angry mob of students demanding answers about the safety of students with the addition of bees,” Soltesz said.

“Why bees? Why now?” Soltesz asked. He explained the bee population has been devastated by pesticides, parasites and diseases.

According to Soltesz, the EC bees will be used as both a learning tool and possibly as a source of honey once they are settled into their new home. “It could take a while before we start to see any kind of honey, though,” he said.