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Beekeeping program a ‘buzz’ for students

Schools

Urban beekeeping at St Mary’s College is helping to create learning opportunities about the environment while also supporting apiarists impacted in the State’s recent bushfires.

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With a beehive now situated on the roof of the college’s science labs, students have been busy learning apiary skills and ways to market its ‘Sponsor a Bee’ program.

They have developed badges, certificates and social media posts to encourage people to sponsor a bee and enjoy some of the honey which will start to be produced from the hive next year.

Sponsors can purchase a badge for $5; a badge and pot of honey for $10; or badge, certificate and their name on the founding member’s hive for $20.

Donations from the program will assist with the establishment of replacement hives and plant stock to ensure the survival of new bee populations in the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island, which were impacted by the bushfires.

Overseeing the project is educator and Leader of Innovation, Jasmin Parasiers, who said that by taking learning outside the classroom students were building 21st century capabilities of “problem-solving, communication and collaboration”.

Project leader Charlie Lawrie.

Ms Parasiers commended the efforts of Year 11 student and project leader Charlie Lawrie, who engaged with experts through webinars and completed research in order to get the program running.

Collaboration between the college’s Facilities manager, Andrew Goodwin (who is a keen apiarist), teaching staff and students had enabled the project to be an “authentic and fruitful learning opportunity”, she said.

The college beehive is connected to a live stream ‘Bee Cam’ which allows students and sponsors to watch the bees as they ‘waggle dance’ in and out of the hive.

For more information on the Sponsor a Bee program, go to www.stmarys.sa.edu.au

 

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