UTM’s hospitality and retail services have installed three beehives on the roof of IB as part of an environmental initiative.

The bees are part of an initiative by hospitality services to help nurture and protect them from the danger of increasing environmental burdens that have led to reduced numbers in recent years. Fostering the bees presents an opportunity for greater self-sufficiency on campus in terms of food services through honey production.

“We always at the hospitality department try to find creative ways to support the environment and be more green and self-sustainable,” says Vicky Jezierski, UTM’s director of hospitality & retail services in an interview with The Medium. “We do have more than one thinking here besides helping the environment. We’re also being very local, bringing honey to the university, to the university students, and to our population.”

The first harvest from the beehives resulted in the production of forty kilograms of honey. The produce is expected to be used chiefly for residence dining starting in the fall, but also to educate students about the bees.

“We will have a session in probably October or November where we will invite our beekeeper to speak about the program,” Jezierski stated, “We will also have honey there and with the help of Chartwell chefs we will show students how to use it in recipes,” she continued. Any leftover honey will then be sold at cost to the UTM population.

A select few students will also be able to interact with the bees during the next harvest. The beehives are expected to be a permanent fixture on campus with the hopes of doubling the amount of hives by next year.

Other hospitality plans include an indoor vertical farm, which can be found at OPH, intended to grow kale, lettuce, and basil for use around campus. According to Jezierski, the project had been purchased from UTM grad students.

The hospitality and retail services have also installed two dehydrators to manage waste and aid future composting of the campus.