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UNT Enhances Ecosystem with New Bee Boxes

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DENTON, Texas – The University of North Texas (UNT) has launched an initiative to strengthen local ecosystems through the installation of bee boxes, funded by a grant from the We Mean Green Fund. This student-led project focuses on bolstering native bee populations, which play a crucial role in environmental health.

Ben Copeland, a senior at UNT studying ecology, who co-authored the grant, explained the ecological benefits: “By supporting native bee species, which are well-adapted to our local flora, we can stimulate a positive domino effect across the entire ecosystem.”

As a designated Bee Campus USA Institution, UNT is committed to sustainability and the promotion of healthy bee habitats. The university incorporates service-learning projects, pollinator-focused curricula, and various educational workshops to raise awareness and support pollinator health.

Tristen Wheeler, Associate Director of the Diamond Eagle Student Resource Center, which includes the UNT Bee Campus USA Committee, highlighted UNT’s leadership: “We are ahead of many Texas universities in terms of initiatives supporting native bees.”

The campus features several green spaces designed to promote pollinator health, such as the Community Garden, Natural Dye Garden, and Pecan Creek Pollinative Prairie. Additionally, UNT has installed 19 educational signs across the campus to highlight and educate on pollinator habitats.

Brie Poe, a psychology major and chair of the UNT Bee Campus USA committee, emphasized the educational aspect of the project: “We aim to increase awareness about the importance of bees and provide numerous volunteering opportunities for students to engage in native plant cultivation and maintenance.”

Addressing potential concerns about the bee boxes, Poe reassured the community: “The native bee species we are focusing on are solitary and non-aggressive, unlike territorial honeybees. These smaller bees are less noticeable and do not sting in retaliation.”

With two bee box ecosystems already established on campus, plans are underway to install additional boxes, further enhancing UNT’s commitment to environmental stewardship and education.

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