Beekeeping Newest Addition to Living Arts School

Beekeeping Newest Addition to Living Arts School
Posted on 10/16/2020
Kenora Beekeepers demonstrate a hiveKenora Beekeepers demonstrate a hive
Thanks to help from a $7,000 grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, St. Louis Living Arts School is on the road to creating their own Beekeeping Club.

This week students were visited by members of the Kenora Beekeeping Club, Ingrid Braun and Shelley Bujold. They brought a beehive and showed the students the different parts of the hive and explained the processes of constructing your own hive, and how to care for your bees.

Teacher Kerri Favreau said over the winter the school will be preparing to start their own hives in the spring.

“It’s really important that we are spending months and months learning before the arrival of the bees.” She said. “Throughout the winter they will learn more about how the hive operates…Classes will also be constructing the frames, building the hive, painting the hive.”

She explained that every grade will have a different role to play in the maintenance and care of the hives.

“We have ideas so that each class will have role to play. For example one grade will be responsible for extracting the honey, so that children know that when they get to that grade it is their turn to extract. One grade will be responsible for monitoring the Queen. One grade be responsible for planting and caring for the clover that we will be planting around the hives,” she explained.

Grade 4 student Leah Hamilton talked about why she was looking forward to the new project for the school.

“I’ve never really gotten to make honey, so It will be interesting for me to try,” she said.

St. Louis Living Arts School was also recognized as a Bee City School this past summer. Bee City Canada recognizes the work of schools who have made a strong commitment to protecting pollinators. They will also be working with the St. Louis Living Arts School to provide resources to maintain the pollinator habitat at the school. St. Louis Living Arts School is one of 33 schools to be recognized as a Bee City School in Canada.

Favreau said the new beekeeping club is part of the school’s new Living Arts Programming.

“Over the past several months we have been trying to develop our idea of a living arts school and think about the types of learning opportunities that would happen in that type of school,” she said.

She added that the grant money will help get the project running and ensure there is enough safety equipment for the students.

Kenora Beekeeping Club member Ingrid Braun talked about the cost of setting up one hive.

“The most expensive is going to be, of course, the suits. A typical hive set up like this is about $150 to $200, and then the bees are $200. A start up investment into a hive is about $500. A $1000 would be the cost of a typical start up, including a suit, for one hive,” she explained.

Decisions on where to keep the hives and how to best protect them from the elements, as well as other animals, will be made over the winter as part of the school’s preparations.
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