Some local adolescents are learning about honey bees first hand as part of the Bee Cause Project. A live colony located at the Combee Academy of Design and Engineering is teaching these youngsters about the vital importance of bees to our agriculture as well as bee behavior so they are not scared of bees when they see them outdoors.
Save the Bees or Else!
The children have a rather bleak outlook about the future of the world without bees, but they are not very far off the truth. Hayden, who is one of the young grade-schoolers at the school, stated, “Save the bees or everything dies!” His fellow classmate Ian stated, “Without bees, it’s the Earth’s death!”
The Combee hive has approximately 1,000 live bees in it. It is but one of 300 or so hives that have been provided to schools around the country by the Bee Cause Project. It took the school two years for approval to get granted, but the wait was worth it, as the children clearly love their hive. The non-profit group is creating national awareness about the plight of the honey bee and has two locations in Florida alone.
The mission of the non-profit is to help young children “understand, engage, and learn from the honey bees.” An additional purpose of providing the hives for the schools is for the children to develop STEM skills (science, technology, engineering, and math skills).
Tracy Miller is the project leader at Combee Academy and seems to just as thrilled with the hive as the children. She stated, “We don’t want our kids to be scared of bees. We want them to be educated about how important they are.” Clearly, the kids are starting to understand the role of honey bees, as several of them schooled a local reporter on how many different crops would be impacted if honey bees are no longer here.
These are the types of programs we need to see our children active in. Their interest and knowledge of the honey bee will help ensure the bees continue to survive into the next generation of beekeepers. Recent losses have created a bit of a wave of panic in the industry, but it can be overcome if harmful pesticides are banned from use and sale as well as beekeepers being better educated on the handling of their hives. Getting the attention of these children at such a young age is a great start!
Source and Photo: ABC News WFTS Tampa Bay