Students and staff at the secondary site had the chance to witness a very important event in the natural life cycle of our beehives this week! A swarm of honeybees was found in our lower courtyard garden. This happens in a strong hive when a new queen is born and takes half of the workers – as well as much of the hive’s stored food – to go make a new colony, leaving the old queen and remaining workers behind to grow and rebuild. The departing bees carry a precious cargo of honey in their honey stomach – yes, they have two stomachs! These bees are especially docile because they don’t want to sting and risk losing their important food source for the new colony. While spotting 50,000 swarming bees may be disconcerting, this is actually when our wonderful bees are most gentle.
We are especially grateful for Mr. Deane Gurney, one of our alumni parents, who has consistently volunteered his time as resident expert and mentor for our beekeeping club over the years. (When we called him about the swarm, he arrived so quickly with his bee-suit that we suspect he is a secret superhero in his spare time!) He brought an empty hive box and we carefully moved the swarm into their new home. This week, these honeybees will be moved to our rooftop to join our other hives (where our beekeeping club will maintain them).
In recent years, there is a growing awareness about the plight of pollinators and their importance to food security and healthy ecosystems. This research has led to some significant positive initiatives such as reducing the use of pesticides, planting more pollinator-friendly flowers, and leaving natural dandelions and other early spring-flowers to bloom as they are an important food source for bees. Not only does our beekeeping club provide new educational experiences and skills for our students, it also allows us to explore the BC curriculum in a hands-on, real-world context.
Beekeeping reminds us of our Father’s care for us. Paul the Apostle wrote, “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.” As we are guided by the Holy Spirit to utilize our God-given capacities, we flourish and serve by the strength that God supplies, in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.
Here are the videos of what all the buzz was about: