Enhancing Pollinator Health & Habitat
Beginning in 2016 Mineral Area College agriculture department began maintaining and planting pollinator beds on campus. Part of our initiative was partnering with the local beekeepers association to start 5 bee hives for hands on beekeeping training on campus. We have also partnered with local master gardener programs on symposium presentations on pollinator topics and increased our campus plant sales to include pollinator plants for Missouri.
Policies & Practices
The Mineral Area College Ag program has partnered with beecheck (by Fieldwatch) to register our campus hives to alert pesticide sprayers not to spray around the section of campus. Flags are flown to easily show where the hives are located. Our campus pollinator beds are registered as Monarch Feeding stations. We partnered with a local Federated Garden Club of Missouri to enhance our pollinator beds this past year and were also recognized by the Missouri Garden Clubs.
We have worked with our campus facilities department on a least toxic pest control measure for campus. This is an on-going discussion.
Education & Outreach
We have three primary ways we spread the word about bees and all pollinators on campus.
- Our campus plant sale in May. We have a special area for natives plants (focusing on pollinator crops) that are student grown. We have signage, flyers and posters to bring special attention to the plants and insects that work best together. We make sure to have plants that spread across the seasons for gardeners and pollinators.
- Master Gardener and garden club training. The Ag Dept. partners in hosting or teaching classes for these groups related to all phases of pollinator needs and life cycles.
- Partner with Parkland Beekeepers on their annual winter conference and monthly hands-on bee training.
Students are required to assist with pollinator bed maintenance as part of the Plant Science and Horticulture Maintenance classes. In the Pest Management course we teach students how to do a hive inspection, how to monitor varroa mite levels and how to prepare a beehive for winter. In our plant ID courses we have special sections on pollinator friendly plants for the Missouri Environment
As mentioned in service learning we annually integrate pollinators into three courses. We also have a section on wildflowers/native on our Herbaceous Landscape Plants course and student in Plant Pest Management are required to obtain a Missouri Private Applicators pesticide license. We also have monthly new beekeeper classes in conjunction with the Parkland Beekeepers Association to train community members that are interested in hobby beekeeping.
Signage is posted at all campus pollinator beds. We also are registered Monarch Site and Missouri Dept. of Conservation pollinator partner. Signs for these partners are also posted. We have handout and signs outside the campus Ag area with pollinator resources for students and the community that see our outdoor signs and want more information.
Local Website & Contact Information
Mineral Area College uses our campus Facebook page MAC Horticulture as our online presence. We post department events and activities on this page. We also will partner with Parklandbeekeepersassociation.org