GUEST STUDENT WRITER
As a student at Mount Paran Christian School, I see my school striving to help the environment. Our environmental science teacher, Mr. Justin Nelson, had the vision to install a beehive near the high school. We collaborated with some other classes for the project. The hive was installed near Lake McDonald on the MPCS campus, in the shadow of Kennesaw Mountain.
A Total School Effort
MPCS high school art teacher, Mrs. Jill Hooley, taught our class about the Folk Art Technique which we used when decorating the hive. We paired up into groups and hand painted the bee hive, making each piece different and special in its own way. We also will collaborate with Mr. Logan Beer’s business and entrepreneurship class to market and distribute the goods from the beehive to the community this fall.
The flow hive is made out of natural wood materials and painted with non-toxic acrylic medium. This type of hive offers an easier and safer way to harvest honey for both the bees and the harvester. When it is time for the honey to be harvested, the tool cap and the tube cap is removed, the tube is inserted into the hole to collect the honey into the jar, then the tool is inserted into the bottom slot and rotated 90 degrees downwards. The bees are not harmed during this process and can keep working even while the honey is harvested.
Innovative Learning About the Environment
Our class began this project in order to help increase the bee population while also learning about their role in the environment at the same time. The bee population is declining because of the use of pesticides and climate change. Bees may seem dangerous, but they provide a natural service to the environment. They of course make delicious honey, but humans also depend on bees to pollinate crops since a third of our food grows by this process.
During class, we will be able to make trips to the hive to research and study the bees and learn how they build the colony. This project will require some work, such as ensuring no other creatures or mites get into the hive, general maintenance, and making sure the bees are getting the right amount of sunlight.
The Sweet Gift That Keeps on Giving
There are many benefits that will support the school once the hive is fully established. These benefits include education, the pollinating of more flowers, and creating a greener, healthier environment around the school and beyond. Another advantage is the honey that is gathered from the hive to enjoy while still leaving a substantial amount for the bees. Having a beehive at MPCS is also a great opportunity for students to learn more about the environment and to have a visual, interactive experience in learning how pollination works and how honey is harvested. We are thrilled to share our campus with these new "neighbors" this summer.
Kaitlyn Bonn is a rising junior at Mount Paran Christian School.
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