The Bee Programme fits neatly into the STEM subjects and integrates with core subjects. The students first learn about insects in general and then specifically about the life cycle of the honeybee. This dovetails with other work on pollination. The students then build a bee hive from a kit using hammers and nails. Then they have to paint the hive. Each year group has a different idea of the colour scheme. One of the sessions is the hive game where the students role play a working hive and bee pollination. Part of this game introduces pesticides that make the bees poorly and we see the effect it has on the colony. Later in the spring, we visit to the bee hive and delve inside. The students point out what they learned from the classroom and we weigh the hive. When the student come back from the summer break, we visit the hive again and weigh it. The weight gain is the honey collected by the bees over the summer. The students use the extractor to harvest the honey and we have a talk about food hygiene. The next job is to put the honey in jars and labelling. The students either design their own label or there is a class competition to design a label. We have a talk about why food labelling is important. Lastly the students sell the excess honey at the school Christmas fair.
What do they get out of it? They get an enormous amount of fun whilst learning about working together, using tools and understanding the impact of our actions on the environment. The Bee programme use lots of crossover skills in Maths, English, Design and Technology. Most of the sessions are filmed and photos are taken by the students for school presentations. The Bee Programme engages all the students whatever their level or interest.
These sessions are led by David The Bee Farmer.