By Katie Dougherty
PBN Contributing Writer
PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island College has made plans to establish a beekeeping program to continue promoting sustainable living and protection of the environment.
The college is the first institution of higher learning in Rhode Island to host beehives, which have been donated by the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association.
“I am proud that Rhode Island College is taking another step forward in its ongoing efforts to promote green initiatives and assist in the collective work to safeguard our most treasured asset- our environment,” RIC President Nancy Carriuolo said in a statement. “By fostering a culture of sustainability among students, faculty and the community at-large, we are doing our part to create a brighter future for generations to come.”
According to James Murphy, RIC alumni and the college’s first-ever sustainability coordinator, “honeybees pollinate one-third of all the food that humans consume. To grow local food, we need bees to do their job and pollinate local crops.”
“It is our goal to create a beekeeping program that will enable our students to acquire knowledge and experience in this critical field,” added Murphy.
According to RIC, the beekeeping has implications across a number of academic disciplines including nursing, psychology, anthropology, economics, environmentalism and agriculture.
“Coupling the art of practical beekeeping with public education, research, urban gardens and farmers markets, along with sustainability initiatives is a perfect complement to RIC's historic and evolving mission,” Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, secretary of the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association and professor emerita of anthropology at Rhode Island College, said in a statement.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m. on RIC’s East Campus between Buildings 7 and 8.