Somerset Times

Bee-ing Aware in Year 9

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 3, Term One, 2019

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Week 3 has been an exciting week for both the Design Faculty and the Sustainable Spartans. A collaborative project implemented in 2018 saw us install two native bee hives with the help of Dr Toby Smith from Bee Aware Kids.

After a busy year of foraging, the bee hives were split this week, allowing the Year 9 Design students the opportunity to have a sneak peek inside the hive of a colony of Tetragonula Carbonaria – also known as stingless bees, sugarbag bees or bush bees.

Dr Toby Smith presented a workshop to the Year 9 Design Students, where they learnt all about native social bees, solitary bees and all the bees in between. After the theory it was time to head out to our hives and split them. We knew both hives were ready to be split thanks to the dedication of a small group of students who took on the role of 'Bee Keeper' in 2018. On a fortnightly basis, they monitored the bee’s activity and hive weight to ensure we were maintaining healthy colonies.

The Design students were fortunate enough to be able to see the internal structure of a native bee hive, see queen cells and also taste the very first drops of ‘Somerset Gold’ - honey made by our very own bees. We hope that in the coming years we will have enough hives to be able to harvest some honey, but our first priority is the environment!

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