Green Corner: Bees get an A for their environmentalism

Attending Rider, we live in a state full of excellent beekeepers who have made some serious headway in understanding these vital insects. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, I feel that it is very important to talk about these important creatures and their role in sustaining our planet.  People around campus may know me as “the bee guy” and this is true. Understanding the role of honey bees in our ecosystem has made me a much more informed person on sustainability.
Honey bees are our country’s biggest contributors to pollination. What does this mean? Pollination is transpiration of pollen from the anther to the stigma. This means more plants will grow. Bees also take some pollen and use it to make honey. People may ask why this is important. To understand this, it is necessary to know what things in our everyday life are affected by bees. Cotton, which makes up our clothes, is dependent upon bees, and over 1/3 of our food is dependent upon bees’ pollination.
New Jersey is full of beekeepers who understand the important role of bees here in the New Jersey ecosystem. Beekeeping has such a large role in the state that there is even a job in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for a state apiarist.
Why is it important to invest all this time and money on bees? Well, so much is dependent on the bees. New Jersey is a state full of farmers, and without these bees, farmers would be lost.
As Rider students, it is important to stay informed on how the impact of bees plays a huge role in your life. From the food in Daly’s to the tea in Starbucks, odds are that bees have affected your food or drinks. As students, stay educated. There are so many resources available to help you understand how important the bees are and what you can do to protect them. Visit the New Jersey Beekeepers Association (http://www.njbeekeepers.org/) for simple tips on how to protect bees, what to do if you see a swarm, and how to get involved in bee projects. Bees are the gateway for food in this country, so bees truly, directly impact everyone.
I recommend everyone take a look at the New Jersey Beekeepers Association and get an understanding on what pressing issues bees are facing and how you can help. From buying certain products, to planting certain plants in the spring and summer, the little things you do will really have a huge impact on the bees.
This year on Earth Day, I am hoping to do something with the bees, to catch Rider’s attention again.  Also, come to our Green Film Saving the Lifekeepers on April 7 and 8 in Sweigart 115 for a better understanding on how important the bees are for the future of Rider, New Jersey, the country and the world. For more information on bees, check out the Rider Documentary (Bee-ing Steve https://vimeo.com/94792278) and check out the Bee Keepers website (http://www.njbeekeepers.org/).

-Steven Schwartz
Lawrenceville Eco-Rep

 

Printed in the 04/01/15 issue.

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