• Students at St Edward’s School have collected 12.8kg of honey in the first year of their Beekeeping Club sponsored by Hall and Woodhouse and The School Association.

As part of St Edward’s wide-ranging enrichment opportunities, students at the school have been given the chance to learn more about bees through the school’s own beekeeping club.

A third of the UK’s bee population is in decline with many species threatened with extinction. Bees pollinate food crops and other plants, which in turn provide food for livestock, making them essential for biodiversity and the food chain.

Through introducing the bee club at St Edward’s, the school is seeking to help battle against the decline of bee species in the UK, while also providing students with the opportunity to develop new skills and learn more about bees in a real-life setting.

The beekeeping club was set up by St Edward’s Science Subject Leader, Stuart Keene, with advice and training from Bournemouth and Dorset South Beekeeper Association. St Edward’s was able to secure a bid from Hall and Woodhouse’s Community Chest which enabled the purchase of the highest quality handmade bee suits to keep students safe whilst working with the bees. The St Edward’s School Association bought the hives and the bees for students to work with.

Since the club began in February of this year, ten students have been working with the hive and have now collected 12.8Kg of honey.

Stuart Keene said:

“Part of my interest in honeybees came from the swarms that we see in the early part of summer, often they land at our school on their way to finding a new home. The bee club has provided a valuable learning experience for our students as they’ve developed new skills whilst discovering more about the bees which play such a vital part in our ecosystem.”

The bee club students have been studying the bees through a practical workbook with themes such as; staying safe when working with bees, the lifecycle of a honeybee, harvesting honey, using wax, and how to spot common bee problems.

Students have now harvested honey and wax from the hives to create candles, lip balm, as well as cookies and cakes. Pots of honey from the school’s bees are also set to be sold at the school’s Christmas Fayre on the 23rd November.

For more information on St Edward’s School, visit: www.website.network.st-edwards.poole.sch.uk/

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