Students at Vancouver school buzzing over new project - KPTV - FOX 12

Students at Vancouver school buzzing over new project

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There was a big buzz going around in Vancouver Friday morning.

Students huddled close and watched as a swarm of honey bees was moved from a box to their new home in an observation bee hive.

The project began last spring when beekeeper Brian Lacy found a swarm of bees on a cedar tree about 200 feet from the Gardner School of Arts and Sciences.

Instead of running, Lacy jumped at the opportunity to use the bees as a learning tool for the future.

"I took that swarm, took it home, over-wintered them, and now I’ve brought them back to be a part of this observation hive," he explained.

The observation hive gives students an inside look at the inner-workings of bee society. Construction of the hive was possible thanks to a grant from the Whole Kids Foundation.

"It’s so hands-on. It develops such a sense of curiosity, of the excitement of wonder,” teacher Betsy Jager-Lee said. “They can see things that we talk about in the book. They can see it happening, they can see the bees creating honey, they can see the honeycomb being made."

As excitement flew around the new classroom addition, there was still some apprehension from students about their new neighbors.

“I was a little nervous at first, but then I thought it was going to be really cool after a little bit once they explained how it's going to be presented in the hive and stuff," fifth-grader Charlie Hatton said.

Teachers hope the observation hive will not only teach an environmental lesson but a life one as well.

“That's an essential message,” Jager-Lee said. “They may be small and tiny, but they play a huge role in sustaining us."

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