Apis mellifera are a critical component to a healthy ecosystem, economy and even a healthy diet.
Over 80% of the world's flowering plants rely on pollinators such as the honeybee to reproduce, this includes many of our agricultural crops.
DMACC Urban has hosted campus honeybees for over ten years. Our bees pollinate the plants in our prairies and food forest. They are also an amazing hands-on teaching and learning tool. Over the years, students have participated in beekeeping duties from the installation of new hives to the extraction and processing of honey. Proceeds from honey sales support our beekeeping program.
DMACC Urban is working towards Bee Campus USA status, a certification from the renowned and respected Xerxes Society. This certification recognizes pollinator and conservation efforts at colleges and universities, and includes the creation of pollinator habitat as well as community outreach and educational programing.
Pollinators, such as honeybees, are tremendously important. Without pollinators, the
ecosystems of the Earth would collapse. 80% of crop plants require pollination by animals. Flowering plants produce breathable oxygen, and purify water. They prevent erosion and support culturally significant plants. The end of pollination would quickly lead to the end of the human race.
Unfortunately, pollinators are on the decline. Urbanization destroys critical habitat. Pollution, the misuse of chemicals, and changes in climate are all contributing to shrinking pollinator populations. Luckily, it isn’t too late to save our pollinators.
Beekeeping can help, but honeybees aren’t the only pollinators at work on the flowers. In fact, honeybees are not even native to the United States! Birds, bats, moths, butterflies, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and native bees are all important pollinators. Iowa alone has somewhere between 300-400 native bee species. Because honeybees are social, domesticated pollinators, they can compete with native pollinators in areas where plant resources are scarce. With this in mind, we are mindful of the number of hives we keep here on Urban campus, and are monitoring the health of our native pollinator populations as well as that of our domesticated bees.
Learn more about how you can help support pollinators by visiting