Springtime 2020 was not a particularly relaxing period for the students of the Bee Responsible association in Rouen who look after the beehives installed on the Campus since 2013. The COVID 19 crisis and the campus closures have forced them into coming up with solutions to cope with what has been an exceptional situation. "Not knowing when the campuses would reopen and having no access to the site meant that we had to leave enough food for the bees to survive. A hive can thrive on its own, but the bees must have new work spaces or there is a risk they will leave the hive with the queen. This weakens the colonies and creates unstable situations," says Lucas Salmon, former association president.
20 new swarms on campus!The association, which currently counts about 25 members, has also recently marked an important step in its history by increasing the number of beehives on campus from 4 to 24! The 20 new colonies, purchased through a partnership with SCC (a subsidiary of HP), were scheduled for collection at the end of March, but the date was regularly put back until the end of lockdown. Finally, from May 11th, the students were able to recover the ton of material required for the installation of the new hives, which had been in storage with a beekeeping partner of the association in Angers. The bees were moved overnight in special transportation hives and the students were finally able to set up the new colonies in the forest bordering the campus.
Find the video of this incredible transhumance below!
After all the excitement, the newly elected team is busy getting ready for the start of the new school year and continuing its work in partnership with other beekeepers to raise student awareness on the role bees play in our ecosystem. "The association is already very active and we wish to keep this momentum going by organising events and communication initiatives on bees and the need to protect them. Bees play a major role in pollination and generate 70% of the world's agricultural production. They are an invaluable and essential species for the food chain and 35% of our food depends directly on them," says Clara Mougin, the newly elected President during the lockdown.
An association that "buzzes" with projectsAmongst other projects, Bee Responsible plans to organise a big bee-keeping day with live honey collecting, meetings with partner companies, discussions with beekeepers and quizzes on bee life...
The students would also like to develop their commercial activity around beekeeping by selling honey and sustainably developed items: book balm, candle, bee wrap... and plan to organise beekeeping courses with two locally known beekeepers, one professional and one amateur.
Plus, driven by the desire to encourage sustainable development on campus and to raise student awareness on social responsibility, an idea central to their future professions, Bee Responsible has been in contact with Kedge Bee's about setting up a student beekeeping federation to help students formalise their beekeeping initiatives. The federation should see the light of day in the coming weeks.
To keep updated on the work of this energetic association, follow their website or Facebook pages and subscribe to their monthly newsletter by writing to this email.
A huge round of applause for the Bee Responsible students who have made a huge contribution to NEOMA's CSR policy concerning the creation of a Sustainable Campus, by taking practical steps to restore biodiversity on our campuses.