WSU donations feed momentum to build a world-renowned pollinator center on campus
PULLMAN, Wash. — The world’s food supply depends in large part on pollinators including the honey bee. Honey bees are responsible for pollinating hundred of foods including apples, cherries and blueberries. The future of vital seed crops like cabbage, onion, broccoli and carrots are reliant on the honey bee as well.
“A large proportion of seed crops rely on bees for pollination,” said Ken Christianson, a retired seed grower. “The WSU bee program really resonation with both my wife and I because the work they do is essential to the future of agriculture.”
To ensure the momentum towards building a world class pollinator center continues, Ken and Sue Christianson are donating $1 million to help build the WSU Honey Bee and Pollinator Research Facility on WSU’s Pullman Campus.
Ken Christianson said he and Sue heard about the program when they took a tour of the current facilities, spread around three different locations up to half a mile apart.
“The program is doing phenomenal work, despite the challenges involved in shuffling between facilities to conduct complex bee research,” said Christianson.
Both Ken and Sue Christianson are both Washington State University alumni.
The new Research Facility is still in the fundraising phase with the goal of raising $15 million to complete the planned 15,330 square foot center. The plans include demonstration gardens and a rain garden, so visitors can watch WSU bees and the researchers working.
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