Somerset Times

Stingless Bees Homing at Somerset

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 1, Term One, 2018

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Dr Toby Smith from Bee Aware Kids visited Year 9 Design students to present a workshop combined with the installation of native bee hives. The presentation included brilliant close up photos and diagrams of bees to help explain bee diversity, bee life-cycles, and their role in pollination and industry.

The classroom presentation was followed by a session outside explaining the new hives, the bees inside and their management. The bees are very low maintenance and after their installation there is very little ongoing management. There are, however, numerous teaching opportunities that can be structured around resident stingless bee hives. One such opportunity is through the hive monitoring plan that Dr Smith provides to schools with a stingless bee hive. This includes information about what hive data to record and when, with explanations as to why the data is important to beekeeping. This data has the potential to be used for data-based assignments, particularly if the schools possess more than one hive and can make comparisons of hive performance among different positions (e.g. hives in warm winter positions vs hives in cold winter positions).

Around 10 to 12 months after delivery, we hope that Dr Smith will return to demonstrate how the hive/s can be split to produce more colonies or to extract honey.

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