Students start beekeeper club at VIU

NANAIMO – Group fundraising to host workshops, instructors in beekeeping.

Concern about bees has led to the formation of a beekeepers club at Vancouver Island University.

Reports of declining bee population has spurred interest, said Liz Kawahara, a digital media student and Beekeepers Club at VIU president.

“One in three bites of food comes from [our] pollinator friends. With all the chemicals that are in our food now and being sprayed directly into the seed, it has been affecting the bees. As the older generation keeps on retiring, we have this interconnection where we need the younger generation to step up and the older generation to adjust.

“That’s why we want to form this club and get it going,” said Kawahara.

Kawahara has a background in farming, working at Nanoose Edibles Organic Farm, and said she took an interest as she was going to create videos of bees. She wanted to look at plants and examine why they are pollinating and related factors.

“I contacted the Nanaimo [Beekeepers] Club, so I wanted to do videos with them and we started talking and I said, ‘Well, do you have a lot of students in your club?’ and [they] said no. So I said, ‘You should have a student club,’ and so that’s kind of how that started to go,” said Kawahara.

The club is very much in its infancy and while Kawahara said it is aiming to one day have bee box on campus, in the immediate future there are plans to have an introductory workshop in November, although an exact date has not yet been set.

Thirty-five members have signed on and Kawahara said there is interest from all sectors of the student population, including engineering and geology students.

The club is seeking donations to bring in instructors, help build bee boxes and help promote engagement with the students.

Although the club is geared towards students, non-students can also join, said Kawahara.

For more information, please e-mail Kawahara at lizkawahara@hotmail.com or go to the group’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/groups/1496994980618485.