Society for Conservation Biology celebrates opening of bee garden

Ribbon-cutting ceremony marks first ever pollinator garden at Queen’s

Members of the Society for Conservation Biology ceremonially cutting the ribbon outside the bee garden.

The Society for Conservation Biology held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday to introduce the university’s first-ever bee garden.

Located in front of the Biosciences Complex on Arch Street, the Bee Garden inhabits native wildlife and plant species that will cater to local pollinators and insects. It also provides a home for solitary bees that don’t have a hive to inhabit.

The garden features small bee homes and a glass display so viewers can observe the crowd of bees and native plant life it contains.

The Society decided to create and plant this garden due to the decline of native biodiversity on campus and in Kingston. With the combination of the dwindling population of solitary bees and social bees as well as the restrictions for beekeepers in Kingston to keep hives, the bee garden will provide a sustainable home for local pollinators in the area.

At the ribbon cutting ceremony, Queen’s students gathered to see the new garden and get a taste of some honey from a local bee keeper at Willow Bees.

Society for Conservation Biology Co-President Ashley Concessio told The Journal that this project began in September of 2016 and has been a “long process with some challenges,” but has also been “well worth it.”

Concessio’s Co-President Georgina Preston noted support from the community as being essential to seeing the garden come to life.

“This project would not have been possible without the help of our sponsors Succuterra, Queen’s Players and the Alma Mater Society,” Preston said. “We are also extremely grateful for the support given to us by Queen’s Physical Plant Services.”

The Society for Conservation Biology is a group of local volunteers who actively promote environmental and conservation efforts in the Kingston area and on Queen’s campus.

While the group is committed to many environmental ventures, their main focus is on “local issues such as the growing need for native plant species here on campus as well as throughout Kingston,” Vice-President Zoe Walter said.

With the completion of the Bee Garden, The Society will shift their focus towards their other projects. These include implementing pollinator landscapes around Kingston, planting native plant species across campus and organizing a UN Youth training conference on conservation.  

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