There's been a sharp increase in the number of JKU "employees" since spring of 2021! Around 250,000 workers have moved to the JKU, living in one of five bee hives on campus and diligently going about their work!
Update: The beekeeper recently moved the busy little bees to their winter home in the wooded area around Traun. They will return to the JKU campus in the spring of 2022.
A bee has a variety of 'jobs' and bees do not spend the first part of their lives as gatherers - the way we often see them - but rather inside the hive on "back office duty". They store food there for the winter, clean the honeycombs, take care of the brood, and guard the hive entrance as sentinel bees. At the age of about three weeks, a hive bee becomes a flight bee, flying up to four kilometers away from the hive to search for promising food sources and communicate the best spots to fellow bees by beating their wings in a special way during their flight home. Only during the last stage of life do they become forager bees.
Bees are important not only because they produce honey, but also because they pollinate around 80% of our crops and wild plants. They are a main reason that our food is so diverse. However, monoculture in agriculture, the use of chemical pesticides as well as sterile gardens and parks are making it increasingly difficult for our bees to survive. Along with cooperation partner Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich, the JKU aims to create a bee-friendly campus. The honey was harvested personally by Rector Meinhard Lukas along with Heinrich Schaller (RLB OÖ) and will be sold at the Merchandise Shop (Kepler Hall).