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PR post-grads remind students of the vital role of bees

Ross Lopes
Life Reporter

The public relations post-graduate program class hosted a Sustainability Awareness Vendor at the Lakeshore campus to teach students about the vital role pollinators like bees play in the environment.

The event held on Dec. 4, also demonstrated how students can help save the bees.

“Bees are absolutely essential pollinators,” said Fran Freeman, an urban beekeeper and vendor at the event. “There are other insects and creature that pollinate, but we are really dependent on bees for are food.”

Honey bees aren’t the only ones that pollinate, but there are a number of native bees found in and around Toronto that are also excellent pollinators, Freeman said.

“Native bees are almost invisible to us, we don’t even realize they’re out there,” she said.

Having a sense of appreciation for what pollinators do allows students to live a more proactive life and make decisions that positively affect sustainability, said sustainability manager Roma Malik.

“Giving thanks and gratitude to pollinators [is a way of helping bring awareness] because, without them, we wouldn’t have the food that we have today,” Malik said.

Some good ways to help the bees is by planting flower gardens without the use of pesticides, which are the primary things one can do, Freeman said.

“Bees are vegetarian, and are looking for pollen for their protein source,” she said. “Part of what makes bees such great pollinators is their hair.

“With their branched hairs, pollen jumps on the hair and the bee grooms itself and then takes the pollen back to the hive or nest,” Freeman said.

The event also brought focus on other sustainability issues, such as transportation options that are more sustainable for the earth.

“We brought the Dropbike to Lakeshore and North campus,” Malik said. “It provides students with an option to travel between campuses in a more sustainable way of travelling.”

Humber College has a five-year sustainability plan that lasts until 2019, which covers different areas, including engagement, campus footprints, and curriculum integration.

“We’re hoping that there is some outreach at every level of student life,” Malik said. “We’re doing things such as ensuring that the lakeshore campus is a fair trade certified campus.”

The Office of Sustainability wants students to be a little bit more conscious of how they can contribute to a better environment, she said.

“We don’t see it as an all or nothing, but we see it as a little goes a long way,” Malik said. “If you take one decision toward sustainability, that means you can start educating it and influencing your peers.”

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