Bee Campus USA
1st Bee Campus in South Carolina, 10th Bee Campus in the Nation
Housed as a subcommittee of the MUSC Arboretum Board, MUSC BeeCampus is a subsidiary organization of BeeCampus USA. MUSC BeeCampus works to marshal the strengths of the campus for the benefit of pollinators. We seek to raise awareness of the role pollinators’ play in sustaining three-fourths of the world’s plant species.
MUSC seeks to incorporate an inclusive pollinator strategy to promote pollinators in our landscape. We are working to reach this goal through four main avenues.
- Enhanced Landscape Planning and Maintenance
Improving and adjusting our landscape planning and execution to promote a cohesive habitat that serves both pollinators and the MUSC community
- Urban Pollinator Habitats
Promoting and providing areas throughout campus that supply shelter and water for pollinators to utilize while maintaining the safety of visitors, students, and employees at MUSC
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Maintenance
Utilizing an ecosystem-based strategy for long term prevention of landscape pests and their damage through a number of mechanical and biological techniques specific to the Lowcountry of South Carolina
- Education and Outreach to the Community
Serving as a living resource for other campuses and communities through educational opportunities and demonstrations of best practices for pollinators and people
Landscaping & Maintenance
MUSC is committed to utilizing more native and perennial plants in the campus landscape to improve water retention, livability, coastal adaptation, and pollinator improvement. In 2016 we took an inventory of all the “pollinator friendly” trees, perennial shrubs and flowers on campus to determine what percentage of the campus landscape was native and pollinator friendly.
We will now be able to work from that baseline to introduce and maintain a variety of additional native flowering species for both nectar and foraging. View a list of MUSC’s current tree and shrub inventory.
Urban Pollinator Habitat Creation
The addition of specific areas designed to meet the other needs of pollinators is a priority. Safe shelter and habitat design, as well as water sources are integral to pollinator survival. The addition of specific areas for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators has brought beautiful spaces to the campus that is also utilitarian.
We have an established butterfly garden along Ashley Avenue to promote foraging and nectar sources for all stages of butterfly metamorphosis.
The BeeCause Project
We have partnered with The BeeCause Project to install an educational honey bee hive at the MUSC Urban Farm. This hive allows visitors to look into a real active honey bee hive to see the inner workings of the honey bee.
Volunteers have built a large scale pollinator habitat display at the Urban Farm to promote sustaining carpenter bees, bumble bees, mason bees, and wasps. Different materials are used to provide nesting space that will not be disturbed by people.
Located behind the Drug Discovery building on campus, the landscape staff developed an aesthetically pleasing demonstration pollinator garden. This garden highlights beautiful, low maintenance plant varieties that can be used in traditional landscaped gardens.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Strategy
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based strategy focusing on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines, and treatments are made with the goal of getting rid of the target organism. The objective of practicing IPM is to acquire long term equilibrium of pests, and provide ecological habitats for pollinators on campus through a range of integrated methods.
In 2017 we developed a questionnaire to determine the current IPM strategy used on campus. As we gather the data we will be able to determine how to better improve the Integrated Pest Management (PDF) strategies used at MUSC.
Education and Outreach
The MUSC BeeCampus community seeks to promote pollinator education (PDF) and outreach through information sharing, educational workshops, interactive displays, and supporting community events. Yearly events are held to promote, educate, and beautify the campus and community with a focus on pollinator protection and promotion.