East Carolina University’s Health Sciences Campus has about 20,000 new residents following the installation of two hives of western honey bees near Lake Laupus.

Chad Carwein, ECU sustainability manager, said the project is part of the university’s response to the global issue of declining bee colonies.

“Colony collapse disorder has killed about 50 percent of bee colonies worldwide in the last 10 years, and we’re trying to establish these hives because, when it gets down to it, one out of every three bites of food is pollinated by a bee,” he said.

On May 20, Will Johnson of All American Bee Company in New Bern transported the bees to campus, and with the help of Karen Mulcahy, teaching associate professor of geography, and retired ECU staff member Dale Aycock, transferred them to the new hives. After the queen is moved, the rest of the bees follow readily, Johnson said.

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Originally published May 21, 2019.