Buzzworthy RSO works towards environment stability

The EIU Beekeeping Club poses for a selfie during a meeting via Instagram.

EIU Beekeeping

The EIU Beekeeping Club poses for a selfie during a meeting via Instagram.

Katja Benz, Student Government Reporter

EIU Beekeeping and Biodiversity has been a group of busy bees since their inception at the Sept. 14 Student Senate meeting.  

At that particular meeting, EIU Beekeeping and Biodiversity was unanimously approved to be a Registered Student Organization, RSO. If interested, their last meeting of the semester is Tuesday for their last meeting of the semester in the Stevenson Hall Lobby. They usually meet every other Tuesday from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Stevenson Hall Lobby.  

Since then, the organization has been buzzing on and off campus. The group hosted a percent night at Dirty’s Nov. 1, held a trivia night Oct. 18 in the Charleston/Mattoon Room in the Martin Luther King. Jr. University Union and was included in the lineup of the 2022 Homecoming Parade a mere month after becoming a RSO. 

The group is also thinking about partnering with BIO-3850, a course focused on environmental sustainability taught by Robert Colombo. This biology class is only offered in the fall and is presently focusing on creating a garden by the renewable energy center on 18th St. Beekeeping and Biodiversity has expressed interest in helping that course in the future.  

Aside from keeping bees on campus, the organization wants to help with biodiversity on campus.  

The organization has to follow both state and federal regulations in order to have beekeeping supplies and bees on campus. This is to ensure the safety of bees, the environment and the beekeepers.  

According to the Illinois Bees and Apiaries Act, the Illinois Department of Agriculture must inspect every beekeeping colony to make sure that the colonies are safe and in a safe environment for the bees to remain healthy. Active bee colonies must also be registered with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  

Section two of the act lists two requirements:  

Every person keeping one or more colonies of bees shall register with the Department annually. 

Every person keeping one or more colonies of bees may be required to post his or her registration number in a prominent place within each apiary under his or her control.

Per the Illinois Bees and Apiaries Act, the Department of Agriculture can come to inspect the hives at any time, as well as deny the beehives at any time. If there are needs of transportation for the bees and their hives, the department must help with that as well.

Lily Spiese, a junior elementary education major, is the vice president of the organization. 

She said that Lucas Grindley, the organization’s president and junior environmental biology major, came to her and talked about wanting to keep bees.  

She said she shrugged it off until she was talking to her boyfriend, who is the organization’s treasurer, about biodiversity on campus. 

Spiese, who loves plants, then was thinking about adding a biodiversity element because the two really go hand in hand.  

“The three of us were together,” Spiese said. “And then we were like, ‘You know what, it would make sense if we did biodiversity and bees because they kind of go hand in hand.’ Bees die if they don’t have enough native plants and stuff like that. So it’d be cool to have bees, but also work on things like planting more native plants on campus.” 

The organization is looking into having compost bins and making their own beehives.  

Grindley is excited to make a difference in the community. He says that anyone, regardless of major, is more than welcome, as the organization is there to support the environment.  

For more updates on meeting times, information on the organization, or if curious about joining the organization, those interested can follow @eiubeekeeping on Instagram.


Katja Benz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].