Allisons’ Apiaries is fully committed to enhancing education outreach in beekeeping for high school students.
Education Outreach Case Study: Wekiva High School
For example, during the last three years Wekiva High School has ventured into the world of honey bees.
The school has a Future Farmers of America (FFA) program on campus. They’ve added beekeeping to expand this program. Wekiva High School is the only public high school in the state of Florida with honey bees.
Originally, the school purchased one nucleus (nuc) hive from Allisons’ Apiaries. Then they purchased and built the equipment needed to house the bees. The next year, I was able to go to a national honey bee convention. While there, I got some equipment donated so that the school could have two hives of honey bees.
The students at the school learned how to open up a bee hive. They inspected it for pests, diseases and to assess the general health of the hive. They saw the various parts of a bee hive such as the brood chamber, the queen excluder, and the supers.
Students learned how to identify a worker, drone and queen bee. They know what the various cells in the bee hive contain, such as brood (baby bees), pollen, and honey. The students experienced the different life stages of the honey bee. They saw everything from egg to larvae to pupae and finally adult honey bee.
Furthermore, the students pulled a few frames of honey to sell at their school to raise money for the FFA program. They learned how to treat for varroa mites to prevent hive loss. Every year that the school has had the bees, several students took an interest in them. These students received more in-depth instruction regarding honey bees, honey, as well as other products of the hive.
Talk to the Teacher
The teacher, Randy Ius, is happy to talk to any administrators or teachers about his experience with education outreach. He can tell you about the great benefit of having honey bees on their school campuses. You can reach Mr. Ius at 407-297-4900 (school) and 407-579-4932.
How Will Students Benefit from Learning Beekeeping?
First of all, our environment depends on bees to pollinate the food crops that keep us fed. Without bees, entire ecosystems can lose biodiversity and even collapse! Students interested in careers as beekeepers will be doing a big favor to their local ecology. They’ll be ensuring their own future as well as that of others.
Also, learning beekeeping will provide students with a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. They will gain job skills that can translate to any science career they choose. They can even learn to package and sell honey to gain entrepreneurial skills. The possibilities are endless!
Is Beekeeping Safe?
Yes, provided that you have the proper protection clothing, beekeeping is very safe. Reduce your chances of getting stung by covering your skin and not swatting at the bees. Avoid wearing dark clothing and cologne or perfume and the bees won’t think twice about you as you work.
If you’re allergic to bee stings, always have an epipen handy. Know how to use it in case you do get stung.
Get Students Involved Through Our Education Outreach!
My goal as a local beekeeper in Central Florida is to work with all the high schools in Central Florida. I want to share the success that we have had at Wekiva High School with as many schools as possible. Education outreach is a top priority.
Feel free to contact me, Paul Allison, at (407) 415-5288 or fill out the form below to begin the process of setting up an apiary at your school.
For a sneak peek at the educational information Allisons’ Apiaries offers to students, read our Education blog posts.