How Westminster High School Students Are Learning About Beekeeping
Beekeeping is an ancient and fascinating practice that involves caring for honeybees and harvesting their products, such as honey, beeswax, and pollen. Beekeeping can also benefit the environment by supporting pollination and biodiversity. However, beekeeping is not a common skill among young people today.
That’s why Westminster High School in Orange County, California, decided to start a beekeeping program for its students, in partnership with CAP OC and Honey Pacifica. CAP OC is a nonprofit organization that provides services and resources to low-income families and communities. Honey Pacifica is a local honey company that has been producing raw honey since 1978.
What is the beekeeping program?
The beekeeping program at Westminster High School is part of the school’s Giving Farm, which is an urban farm that grows organic fruits and vegetables for local food banks. The program was launched in April 2022 with the help of CAP OC and Honey Pacifica, who donated six queen bees and 60,000 worker bees to the school.
The program involves 15 students who are part of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) club at the school. The students learn how to set up and maintain the beehives, how to protect themselves from bee stings, how to observe and monitor the bees’ behavior and health, and how to harvest and process the honey and other products.
The program also teaches the students about the importance of bees for the environment and agriculture, the challenges that bees face due to habitat loss, pesticides, diseases, and climate change, and the ways that people can help protect and support bees.
Why is it beneficial?
The beekeeping program at Westminster High School is beneficial for several reasons. First, it provides a hands-on learning opportunity for the students, who can apply their science, math, and communication skills to a real-world situation. The students also develop leadership, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills through the program.
Second, it helps the students develop an appreciation and respect for nature and wildlife, especially for bees, who are often misunderstood or feared by people. The students learn about the amazing abilities and contributions of bees, such as their complex social structure, their communication methods, their role in pollination and food production, and their production of valuable products.
Third, it supports the school’s Giving Farm mission of providing fresh and healthy food for people in need. The honey and other products that the students harvest from the beehives can be donated to local food banks or sold to raise funds for the farm. The beehives also help pollinate the crops on the farm, increasing their yield and quality.
The beekeeping program at Westminster High School is a unique and innovative initiative that introduces students to a fascinating and rewarding activity. The program also benefits the environment, the community, and the school. The program was made possible by the generous support of CAP OC and Honey Pacifica, who provided the bees and the equipment for the program.
If you want to learn more about the program or watch a video about it, you can visit these links: