Since 2011, our students have had the opportunity to learn about honey bees through observation and maintenance of our onsite hives. This curriculum allows students to explore biology, local food production, insect identification, anatomy, and agriculture. In addition to natural outdoor observations, a tabletop hive is used inside the classroom to support studies in life cycles, pollen collection, and honey production. This see-through hive also allows students to observe the importance of each colony member’s role to the entire community.
A highlight to our school’s honey bee program is the optional Introduction to Organic Beekeeping class offered to the Adolescent Community. In this hands-on, 9-week class, we cover apiculture basics such as: construction and use of equipment; wellness inspections; integrated pest management; catching of swarms; installation of hives; and varietal honey tasting and production. Beekeeping students also visit local apiaries and give a school-wide honey extraction demonstration at the end of the cycle. Teaching about honey bees in a safe, controlled environment helps children develop a healthy respect for living things. Having an on-site hive allows children to see honey bees as collaborators in our shared environment.
NWMS honey bee hives are provided and maintained by The Burns and the Bees. The equipment and yearly budget are provided by parental donations.