• 70°

Bee infestation forces relocation of Catawba graduation

After Catawba College officials observed the buzz around Keppel Auditorium, they relocated Saturday’s commencement ceremony and split graduates into three groups because of a bee infestation.

For about a week, honey bees swarmed around Keppel Auditorium. The bees numbered several thousand at times. The college was unable to remove the swarming bees, and on Friday announced its Saturday graduation would move from Keppel Auditorium to Omwake-Dearborn Chapel. Graduation ceremonies will be split into three groups on Saturday because seating in the chapel is less than half of Keppel Auditorium. Two ceremonies will be Saturday morning and one will be in the afternoon.

Graduates earning a bachelor of arts degree will have a ceremony at 10 a.m., with seating starting at 9 a.m. Students earning a bachelor of fine arts and the bachelor of science degrees will have a ceremony at noon, with seating starting at 11:30 a.m. Graduates in the School of Evening and Graduate Studies will have a ceremony at 2 p.m., with seating starting at 1:30 p.m.

Catawba College Provost Michael Bitzer said public safety was the primary reason for the commencement ceremony change.

“For the administration and for the college, we recognize that the auditorium was going to be filled to capacity and we did not want to take the chance,” Bitzer said. “With the number of bees, the public’s safety was really paramount.”

On Friday afternoon, the swarm of bees was smaller than other times during the week, said Catawba College Sophomore Joel Schlaudt. In total, Schlaudt said the bees swarmed four times in the area surrounding Keppel auditorium.

Swarms occur, Schlaudt said, when the amount of available space in a hive isn’t enough for its resident bees. The bees swarm in certain locations as they look for a suitable hive location, he said.

Because the bees couldn’t be removed from the area, Schlaudt and two other students helped set up bait boxes to capture the insects. They would be placed on a local beekeeper’s land after being captured.

The school on Friday blocked off access to the roadway between Oliver’s Way and the main entrance into Keppel Auditorium. A news release advised pedestrians to avoid the area because of the swarm.

All graduation-associated activities previously scheduled in the Robertson College-Community Center were also being relocated.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

 

 

Comments

Crime

State examining Davidson County emergency alert received in Rowan, other counties

Local

Cleveland Rodeo packs house for 10th year

News

Salisbury’s Jacques Belliveau talks mental health, filming during premiere of ‘Reggie: A Millennial Depression Comedy’

News

Sen. Ford backs new set of election-related bills

Business

Downtown Salisbury bullish on potential for more residential space

Business

Biz Roundup: Wine about Winter set for June 18

Business

Local artists draw in adventurous travelers with eclectic Airbnb rental downtown

Education

Commissioners discussing reviving joint capital project committee with school board

Business

Beech-Nut Stage One cereal recalled

Lifestyle

‘All Critters Big and Small’ program coming to library

Kannapolis

Area Sports Briefs: Former A.L. Brown standout Cambrea Sturgis wins two sprint events

Education

RSS administration to recommend return to five-day school week

College

Baseball notebook: Wingate wins national championship; high schools set sights on playoffs

Local

Gene Seaford gets fifth career ace at age 90

Education

Livingstone seeking nominees for inaugural ‘Forty Under 40’ Society

Business

‘Stopping that cycle’: Edman named director of Prevent Child Abuse Rowan

Nation/World

Biden urges G-7 leaders to call out and compete with China

Nation/World

Rash of mass shootings stirs US fears heading into summer

Landis

Landis town staff, Duke Energy work through the night to fix major power outage

College

College baseball: Top-seeded Arkansas routs NC State 21-2

Crime

Teacher accused of assaulting at-risk teen at New London military-style school

Education

NC court: Students can use constitution to fight bullying

Coronavirus

Vaccine surplus grows as expiration dates loom

Elections

Justice Department will review restrictive voting laws in Republican-controlled states