Campus Apiary

The Student Sustainability Center manages an apiary with two beehives and one mason bee nest box at Portland State University’s Community Orchard. Through a partnership with Bridgetown Bees and the Living Lab program, PSU is becoming a more pollinator friendly environment while promoting hands-on learning opportunities for the campus community.

Why have bees on campus?

Honeybees and other insects, bats, and birds are essential for the pollination of many plants, including about one-third of the food crops we grow. Bee populations have declined in recent years due to a variety of factors, including the use of pesticides on plants, which is a concern for many scientists, farmers, and gardeners since bees play important roles in our ecosystem. Fostering bees on campus provides valuable educational opportunities as well as ecological benefits.

Get involved

To learn more or get involved with the Student Sustainability Center 's Bee Task Force, please contact You can also sign up to receive PSU’s monthly newsletter about sustainability opportunities. Or take a walk by PSU’s Community Orchard to check out the home of the campus apiary (key access is required to enter the space).



Articles about the PSU Apiary:

Safety Information

Bees tend only to sting defensively, unless they are accidentally stepped on or get trapped in clothing. There are 20,000 species of bees in the world and the only ones that might sting are the social ones—honey and bumble bees. Social bees have hives to defend; non-social bees (i.e. “solitary” bees such as mason bees that live in individual nests) do not "defend" their nests and did not evolve to sting potential predators.

Nevertheless, PSU has developed a comprehensive risk management plan for the campus apiary. To ensure the success of the apiary, please carefully review and follow this safety information:

Before entering the designated bee area, all individuals must:

Safety tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Garden with at least one other person
  • Be careful of unexpected debris and objects while working in gardens
  • Wear closed-toe shoes and personal protective equipment at all times
  • No fragrances allowed
  • Have a cell phone with you

Seek immediate medical attention if:

  • You have difficulty breathing
  • You have been stung many times
  • You are allergic to bees

What to do while being stung:

  • Stay calm and move away from the bees
  • Protect your face and eyes
  • Go to an enclosed area such as a building or car

Liability insurance:

  • PSU student volunteers are covered through the SSC’s liability waiver form
  • PSU faculty, staff, and student employees are covered through workers compensation and are eligible to file a claim if injured
  • All other individuals are uninsured through PSU but may file a liability claim through the University

In case of allergic reaction:

EpiPens are located at Student Health and Counseling:
M-F: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
1880 SW 6th Ave
University Center Building
Portland, OR 97201

In case of emergency:

Call Campus Public Safety Office’s emergency line at 503-725-4407 or dial 911.