Beekeeper Sharon has submitted the following article;
Sharon Myers and Keith Stetsko of the West Kootenay Branch of the BC Honey Producers Association introduced this observation hive to the W.E. Grahame School in Slocan City for two months this spring to bring “bee awareness” to the students in the area. The hive is a 2 frame unit with glass sides and a running glass entrance.
Overall approximately 160 students ranging from Kindergarten to High school age, as well as adult groups from various communities observed the display and set in motion art projects and stories, as well as planning some great projects to be taken on in the future.
The hive allows for the daily observation of different stages of the bees’ lives from the laying of eggs by the queen, to the care of those eggs by the workers, to seeing the baby bees emerging from the capped cells. The bees can also be observed gathering and storing nectar and pollen, cleaning of the hive, and building new honeycomb. One of the most interesting activities was to see the bees doing their directional dances for location of food sources.
A brief assembly was held on the first day during which the students learned the anatomy of a bee, their life cycles, and their culture. An amazing discussion developed around how the students can assist in creating a healthy environment for the bees in their own community and their home gardens. Everything from planting bee friendly plants to keeping their home living space toxin free from hair shampoos and cleaning products to spraying pesticides on their home trees and gardens.
The program was so successful that four additional schools in the Kootenays will participate in a similar program with the observation hive in the spring of 2016. As well one of the communities will participate in a community “art project” involving the observation hive.
The observation hive has currently moved to The Four Nations Coalition of Indigenous Medicines in the West Kootenays where it will participate in The Indigenous Earth Studies for Kids program which runs for the summer months.
Further information about this project can be accessed at: firstname.lastname@example.org.