EASTON (CBS) – Bees are crucial to our well-being, and at one local high school, hands-on beekeeping is an important part of the science curriculum. For these students, studying bees, close up and personal, has become a passion. It’s all happening at the Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School in Easton where thousands of bees are thriving.
“We’ll inspect hives 1, 2 and 3,” says teacher Greg Gaudreau to a group of students who look like they’re dressed like astronauts preparing for lift off. But these young people have a more down to earth mission. To study and care for honeybees.
The ultimate high school field trip. It’s the beginning of the second year of the beekeeping program at Southeastern Regional. “We have eight hives and in each hive we have approximately 60,000 bees. So we’re a little under half a million,” says Gaudreau.
“I always was fascinated by bees and their lifespan and how they worked,” says student Sandra Alicea.
“I love them. I call them my babies,” adds Nic Blanchard, another student beekeeper.
The students are part of the Natural and Life Sciences program at the high school. They inspect the hives, record their observations and study the health of their buzzing companions. Something that is important to all of us because without bees as pollinators, much of our food supply would disappear.
“What I want them to take away is just how beautiful, yet complex life is. And to think critically and to work with forces that are much bigger than yourselves,” says Gaudreau.
“It’s not an experience everybody gets. It’s a very unique experience to go and work with bees,” says student Amber Watson.
“Honestly, I’m always amazed when we open the hives, seeing how so many animals can do one task all at the same time,” adds Josh Griffin who is also in the program.
“I really like honey, so I’m really into how it’s made,” says Sophomore Carleigh Duchaine.
And since this is harvest season, she’s in luck with the liquid gold the students are collecting.
Students in the carpentry program at the high school built the hives.