What’s the Buzz at the JKU?

In May 2021, the number of employees at the Johannes Kepler University Linz went up in leaps and bounds.

Imker Heinz Wahlmüller, Rektor Meinhard Lukas, RLB OÖ-Generaldirektor Heinrich Schaller, RLB OÖ-Generaldirektor-Stellvertreterin Michaela Keplinger-Mitterlehner und Tamara Dekum, Leiterin der JKU Universitätskommunikation, bei der Honigernte
Beekeeper Heinz Wahlmüller, Rector Meinhard Lukas, RLB OÖ General Director Heinrich Schaller, RLB OÖ Deputy General Director Michaela Keplinger-Mitterlehner, and Tamara Dekum, head of JKU University Communications, collect the honey ‘made at the JKU’.

Over 250,000 busy bees now call the JKU home, populating five different beehives at the JKU campus. Along with JKU University Council Chairman and RLB OÖ General Director Heinrich Schaller and RLB OÖ Deputy General Director Michaela Keplinger-Mitterlehner, JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas successfully harvested the homegrown honey which will be available at the Kepler Hall in the fall. Implemented by the JKU in cooperation with Raiffeisen Upper Austria, the project is part of the university’s "Sustainable Campus" initiative.

JKU Rector Lukas remarked, "We need bees, not only because they produce honey, but also because they pollinate around 80% of our crops and wild plants. This is why - together with our cooperation partner Raiffeisenlandesbank of Upper Austria - the JKU has set a goal to create a bee-friendly campus. This not only benefits the bees, but also university employees, local residents in Linz Auhof and, of course, future generations. Here at the JKU, we believe that sustainability is not just a buzzword, but rather our responsibility and one we practice in order to support active coexistence at the JKU and elsewhere."

He added, "I would like to thank everyone involved in the JKU’s bee program, particularly the Raiffeisenlandesbank of Upper Austria, beekeeper Heinz Wahlmüller from the Upper Austrian Beekeeping Association, and, of course, everyone in the future who will purchase our local JKU honey to enjoy at breakfast or any other time of day."

Heinrich Schaller, managing director at the RLB OÖ, emphasized, "It is important to us to find a way to counteract the decline of urban bee colonies. Back in 2016, we also put several bee colonies atop the Raiffeisenlandesbank of Upper Austria building on Europaplatz in Linz. We are excited about this bee project together with JKU. After all, when it comes to our biodiversity, a world without bees is unimaginable."

Sustainability in Action at the JKU Campus

Orchards, edible hedges, energy-efficient buildings, recycling, and organic meat served at the JKU cafeteria - in addition to the beehives, the JKU supports many different programs and projects that support sustainability and an environmentally conscious campus, reminding us to be more mindful when it comes to our resources. Click here for an overview of Sustainability at the JKU, opens an external URL in a new window. The JKU is also voluntarily committed to the Climate Alliance of Upper Austria, opens an external URL in a new window.