Rusty-patched bumblebee’s struggle for survival found in its genes (April 2024)

CSU contributes to report assessing health of Colorado pollinators (January 2024)

Pollinator Committee Overview

The Pollinator Friendly Campus Committee formed in May 2017 to discuss pollinator friendly initiatives on campus. In July 2017, the committee was approved as an official subcommittee of the President’s Sustainability Committee (now the President’s Sustainability Commission). Our Pollinator Committee has membership from academic experts, Grounds, Housing and Dining Services, Environmental Health Services, and students. Our objectives in promoting pollinators align with Bee Campus USA goals, including: create and implement a pollinator friendly habitat plan; plan and develop pollinator friendly gardens across campus; create pollinator engagement opportunities such as workshops and engagement events; and post educational stories and signage about the benefits of supporting local pollinators.

Recent accomplishments:

  • With the installation of the new extension of the Mountain Loop bike trail on campus (between chemistry and visual arts), we implemented a new pollinator garden. The design of this was reviewed by the committee last year and we were able to implement it as part of the project. We continue to look for opportunities to include these types of installations on campus whenever possible.
  • The apiculture club received funding from ASCSU to install interpretive signage at their bee hives on south campus. Working with the students, Facilities Management assisted in developing signage concepts and getting it installed so that visitors can learn more about the activities of the club and what is happening in general with the hives. 


ASCSU representative
David Hansen, University Landscape Architect, Facilities Management – Chair
TBD, Horticulture Crew Supervisor, Outdoor Services Facilities Management
Jeannine Riess, Public Health Administrator
Jennifer Bousselot, Assistant Professor Horticulture & Landscape Architecture
Jim Graham, Director of Environmental Health Services
Laila Paluszek, President of CSU Student Apiculture Club
Julia Innes, Program Assistant for the Committee, Facilities Management
Kelly Kellow, Horticulturist for Gardens on Spring Creek
Kirstie Tedrick, Sustainability Coordinator, Housing & Dining Services
Lisa Mason, Horticulture Agent – Arapahoe Extension, CSU Extension

Bee flying to flower

Bee Campus USA

CSU is Bee Campus USA certified since January 2018. During the spring semester in 2018, the President’s Sustainability Commission recognized the Pollinator Friendly Campus Committee for its outstanding sustainability leadership that resulted in CSU becoming the first certified Bee Campus USA institution in Colorado! Our Bee Campus USA designation is part of a larger campus-wide initiative to transform our physical campus into a learning laboratory for the campus community and visitors.

Bee Campus USA Goals include:

  • Create and implement a pollinator friendly habitat plan
  • Plan and develop pollinator friendly gardens across campus
  • Create pollinator engagement opportunities, including workshops and engagement events
  • Post educational stories and signage about the benefits of supporting local pollinators

9 news – CSU Bee Campus USA (April 2018)

Through association with our Bee Campus USA status, we have also gained an international partner to support our goals of creating more beneficial habitat on CSU’s campus. Over the summer of 2018, Bee City USA became an official initiative of the Xerces Society. “The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.”

Bee City USA joins Xerces Society (June 2018)

Pollinator Friendly Gardens

Native pollinator populations throughout the world have been experiencing critical threats to their survival with issues ranging from food insecurity to habitat loss. Considering the critical role pollinators play in our surrounding ecosystem, CSU has made a commitment to make our campus more welcoming to these essential creatures.

The Fall 2017 addition of the Clark A Pollinator Bed kicked off an agenda here at CSU to create more intentional spaces on campus, designed to support pollinators by providing consistent food sources and safe spaces for nesting. The flowerbed provides pollinator-attracting plants such as catmint, agastache blue boa, lavender, primrose, spirea, and beebalm. Along with flowers, it supports signage to educate the campus community about pollinators.

Visit our pollinator gardens! Find all the locations listed on the CSU interactive map. We have intentionally designed a number of campus locations with consideration for pollinators, including:

Clark A & B Pollinator Beds
Weed Research Pollinator Beds
Computer Science Memorial Garden
Rec Center Patio
Housing Services Center
Vet Teaching Hospital (south campus)
Foothills Campus (various locations)
Main CSU entrance on Laurel by Engineering Parking Lot
Pitkin Island
Natural Resource Bed
Laurel St. Beds
Lory Student Center – North and South
Center and Lake
Painter and Pathology
Health & Medical Center
Tiley House
Outdoor Service Beds
Lake Street Parking Garage Sign and East Bed

CSU is participating in Native Bee Watch at the Clark pollinator garden – view our annual report summary from 2020. The garden was also monitored in 2021 & 2022.

Read more about what Facilities Management is working on to promote pollinators at CSU: English / español (June 2023)

CSU starts initiative to bee friendly to pollinators (September 2017)

Swarm Response

In addition to enhancing pollinator activity on campus, the university has a response plan for swarming or nuisance insects. Anyone concerned about bee swarms, which are more common starting in February through spring, or nuisance bees, wasps or hornets, should contact Environmental Health Services (EHS). Environmental Health Services will manage next steps, including calling beekeepers for assistance in removing a bee swarm from campus and safely relocating it. Contact EHS at (970) 491-6745.

Sting Response

What to do if stung? Remove the stinger as soon as possible. Localized swelling, pain, and itching are all normal reactions. Cool lotions or compresses can help relieve the pain and swelling. If you have a prescription for an Epinephrine autoinjector due to allergic reactions, administer it immediately after you are stung. If you have hypersensitivity reactions to either bee or wasp venom, contact your physician immediately. You can also contact the CSU Health and Medical Center with any concerns at (970) 491-7121.

Get Involved!

There are a variety of options for students, employees, and community members to get involved and learn about pollinators. Participate in one or more of the opportunities listed below.

Pollinator Friendly Campus Committee

To find out about meetings, please contact us. We generally meet once during the fall semester and once during the spring semester.

Citizen Science Opportunities

This is a citizen science project monitoring bee diversity and abundance in Colorado. We recommend signing up for their newsletter to learn about opportunities for citizen involvement. More information on Native Bee Watch is here:

CSU Apiculture Club

The Colorado State University Apiculture Club is a platform for students and those interested in bees to get involved in beekeeping. The club educates people on the importance of bees and beekeeping in the community, as well as provides a learning outlet for hands on beekeeping experience. The organization hopes to reach as many people on campus and in the community to help form an understanding and appreciation for bees and beekeeping. To get involved or ask questions, contact the President of the CSU Apiculture Club, Laila Paluszek, at Follow them on Instagram @csuapicultureclub.


Webinars & Presentations

  • CSU Extension Gardening Series (free, virtual webinars, and recordings posted on a variety of topics)
  • Habitat Restoration & Management Webinar Series from Pollinator Partnership
  • “Bee Friendly: How We Can Support Pollinators at Home and on Campus” webinar – What is all the BUZZ about bees? How can we support pollinators on campus and at home? This presentation will cover the basics of native bees, honey bees, and other pollinators; options for supporting all pollinator populations; and considerations for becoming a beekeeper. Learn about what the CSU Pollinator Friendly Campus Committee is doing to provide a landscape that supports pollinators, including what it means to have our Bee Campus USA designation! Join Lisa Mason, Horticulture Agent at CSU Extension in Arapahoe County, and CSU Campus Planner Fred Haberecht with Facilities Management for an hour-long presentation filled with BUZZ-worthy information! If you missed this class on 4/19/2021, or would like to re-watch it, here is the recording:

Reading Recommendations

Local, National, & International Resources

  • Native Bee Watch
    A citizen science project monitoring bee diversity and abundance in Fort Collins, Colorado. Sign up for their newsletter for more information!
  • Nature in the City
    Programs provide residents with easy access to nature by creating and enhancing natural spaces in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • The Gardens on Spring Creek
    18-acre botanical garden within walking distance of the CSU Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. Excellent educational and visual resource for building pollinator friendly spaces.
  • Northern Colorado Beekeepers Association
    An organization of both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers that provides a forum for education in beekeeping to NCBA members and the general public.
  • Colorado Beekeepers Association
    The Colorado Beekeepers Association aims to produce better beekeeping methods, better beekeepers, and a more unified system of apicultural work in Colorado.
  • Bee City USA
    Bee City USA works to foster awareness of the role pollinators play in our communities and what each of us can do to provide them with healthy habitat.
  • Monarch Joint Venture
    A partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that support efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States.
  • The Xerces Society
    An international nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.
  • Pollinator Partnership
    An international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research.