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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Would you like some Holy Hill Honey in your tea? I never imagined I would be able to ask that question of a guest. Thanks to the work of the Cultivate VTS team, each Student, Faculty, and Staff member received a small honey bear in their mailboxes last week. Recently the Cultivate VTS team harvested honey from the bee hives on campus and they shared the sweet fruits of their labor with community members. 

You might be wondering why VTS would have beehives on campus. The short answer is stewardship of the earth and its resources. Honey bees have been declining for several years. According the the United States Department of Agriculture, "Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $15 billion in value to agricultural crops each year and helps ensure that our diets include ample fruits, nuts and vegetables." Remarkable, isn't it? The work of these tiny insects has an enormous impact. And this doesn't count the pollination of other hard-working polinators like beetles, butterflies, birds, and bats.

There are many things we can do to help our hard-working pollinators. We can be careful about how we use land (i.e. keep a variety of forage and nesting resources available by not clearing large areas of land for one use alone-bees need variety!), avoid using pesticides that kill bees, and scientists are working hard to learn about the pests and diseases that kill bees in addition to bee biology to help them thrive. Read more here about the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators.

The Rev. Melody D. Knowles, Ph.D.
Acting Dean and President
Vice President for Acacemic Affairs and Associate Professor of Old Testament

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