Dalton State College is home to upwards of 14,000 new residents after two honeybee hives were colonized on campus this week.
“Our main goal right now is to get the bees established in their new home,” said Dr. Randall Griffus, dean of the School of Science, Technology, and Mathematics and who is overseeing the hives. “We’ve all heard the news that the honeybee population is on the decline. Pesticides, viruses, fungi, and predators are all contributing to their decline.”
Dr. Griffus has kept hives in the past and currently has private hives at his home. He said it takes a year or two, sometimes even three, before the bees make enough honey to harvest. The goal with these bees isn’t to harvest honey, but to help prevent the further decline of the bee population.
The colonies could also provide potential research opportunities for students and faculty, he said.
“I hope our community grows more aware of the pollinators,” Dr. Griffus said. “Bees are responsible for billions of dollars’ worth of agriculture in the United States.”
Bees are also low maintenance. They only need to be checked on a time or two a month and require little care other than protection.
The bee colonies are located near Plant Operations and are well marked by large yellow signs warning people not to disturb the hives.