BOSTON (CBS) – A buzzworthy project is giving students at the Bridge Boston Charter School in Roxbury a closer look at honeybees, twenty to thirty thousand of them to be exact.
“They are big and scary,” a young student told WBZ-TV.
It’s all part of a collaboration with Best Bees, a professional bee management company who installed two honeybee hives thanks to a generous donation.
Beekeepers tend to the hives on campus, monitoring the hive’s temperament, food stores and overall health.
“It’s very important for kids to learn about bees and insects in general because they all play a vital role. Bees are responsible for about 35-percent of the fruits and vegetables we eat. They have a direct relationship to our health and our maintenance as a species,” lead harvester Che Ashley told WBZ.
Students in grades K-8 witness the bees in their natural habitat and learn about the field of beekeeping. Science department chair Aimee Slatkavitz has incorporated the bees as part of this year’s curriculum.
“They get to do actual experiments with the bees. From the time that there in K-1 they’re learning about pollination and simulating it in the classroom. By the time they’re in eighth grade they’re learning about honeybee memory and how honeybees are surviving colony collapse disorder. The more hands on you can be, the more kids are going to learn and be interested and engaged,” Slatkavitz explained.
Students have named the two queens of the hives “Cardi-bee” and “Bailey the Bee.” In a few months, beekeepers will extract around 20 pounds of honey and jar it. The kitchen at Bridge Boston Charter School will use some of it to create the daily lunches and students will also get to take honey home.
“There’s an unbridled braveness in very young kids where they’re just curious and they want to know as much as they possibly can. Hopefully they’ll become beekeepers,” said Ashley.