In late 2006, U.S. beekeepers began noticing a collapse of honeybee colonies. Large numbers of worker bees were leaving the hives with plenty of food but not enough bodies to care for the queen and young bees. Experts attributed the loss to a number of causes, including parasites and pesticides used in farming. This phenomenon, known as Colony Collapse Disorder, sparked worldwide concern for these insects that play a vital role in crop pollination.
To combat the issue, UCF is working to attract and support pollinators, including honeybees, native bees, wasps and butterflies. Students and faculty recently planted two pollinator gardens on campus and placed three honeybee hives in the UCF Arborteum. Led by Arboretum director Patrick Bohlen, UCF is also working on becoming an official Bee Campus USA, which recognizes universities that raise awareness and create sustainable habitats for pollinators.