From “bee careful,” to “just bee chill,” and “bee still,” the puns were flying as fast as the honey bees that arrived Monday to Glenlyon Norfolk School’s new bee garden.
Like a gang of druids gathered at a Stonehenge sunset, 11 of the GNS students walked up Shady Lane clad head-to-toe in their bee keeper suits. They’re from Sarah Wallace’s Grade 4-5 class and have started a bee garden, conceived as a way to take learning outside and development environmental stewardship, she said.
“The focus of the project includes exposure to enterprise education, which takes ideas of raising awareness of the project from the students, researching and developing those ideas and taking a final ‘product’ to market.”
Five of the students from Wallace’s class started with the project last year in anticipation of putting bee hives somewhere on GNS property.
In order to fundraise many of the students used bees wax to create products and sell them at the school craft fair.
“They made reusable wax wraps [to use] instead of cellophane and sold honeycomb, and also sold plants through a partnership with Saanich Native Plants, and that’s how we’ve come to the program,” Wallace said.
Though the bees only just arrived, hired for the summer from Kate Fraser at Bees Please, the students were well prepared. Monday was the first time on site for the bees and Fraser talked the students through the introduction of the bees to the neighbourhood, explaining they were fairly happy considering the transfer there by car.
“We will visit them every Monday,” said Grade 4 student Evie Beiderwieden.
They’ll also get to keep the honey, Fraser said.
A permit for bees is only attainable in Oak Bay through Oak Bay council which Wallace acquired over the holidays.
Fraser said there are multiple Bees Please hives around Oak Bay. Her hive hosts do little to none of the work and get to keep the honey and also have their garden and their neighbours’ gardens benefit from the bees.