We Speak for the Bees
- Grade 1
- Grade 2
- Grade 3
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Our school had the good fortune of a hard-working Parent Advisory Council (PAC) contribute money towards a school garden. Volunteers from PAC assembled the gardens from wood donated by a local building company. PAC paid for a deer-proof fence to surround the garden and soil to fill the garden beds. The first year the garden was planted solely with root vegetables requiring little maintenance. Every student in the school was able to take home at least one carrot and one potato in the 2016 harvest. The following spring our school staff decided to convert one of the garden beds to a bee garden. We sent out an e-mail message to our parent community asking for donations of bee-friendly plants and flowers. We received multiple donations and also purchased a few plants with our Environmental Club money. Parents signed up for one week at a time to take care of our school garden by watering, weeding, and planting more seeds at appropriate times for our Fall harvest. The result was a beautiful, vibrant, bee-filled garden!
The teaching staff embraced this theme and invited local families with their own apiaries to present to our classes or take students to visit them. The grade 2 classes went to Cominco gardens in the Fall and helped to plant Spring bulbs so the bees would have early flowers come Spring. They also performed a ‘bee rap’ for the school and parents at an assembly. The grade 3 classes made their own bee homes using repurposed tin cans and paper. These students will find places around their yards or in the community when Spring comes to place their bee homes. The grade 1 students explored facts about honey bees and how we can help the bees in our community, learning about flowers that attract bees and bee life cycles. The grade ones also made their own lap books, to share with family and friends which included valuable Honey Bee information and detailed sketches. The kindergarten classes investigated bee life cycles using the book “Bee & Me” by Elle J. McGuinness and illustrated by Heather Brown. Kindergarten students reflected on how they felt about bees before and after the story through drawings of themselves. They also drew what our yards and communities would look like with and without bees. All grade levels included their own artwork on their hallway bulletin boards.
Our school also hosted a POPS (Parents of Primary Students) open house night where each grade level showcased their learning about bees. Every family received a packet of seeds for bee-friendly flowers, information on plants that promote bee populations, and ideas on how to help the bees.
Our hope as a staff is that we have inspired our students and their families to continue finding small ways they can encourage the bee population in our area and wherever they end up in their life travels. A local shop in Kimberley that sells honey and bee-related products, is selling cocoons of mason bees for people to purchase for their own yards. They will also be making bee houses to sell. We have already had many students tell us their family has gone down to order their bees for Spring. And so it begins…