Posted: Fri 30th Sep 2016

Buzz In Council Chamber As School Children Become Bee Keepers

This article is old - Published: Friday, Sep 30th, 2016

Pupils from Nant Celyn Primary School have been recognised for their work creating new habitats for bees in their school grounds. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Two bee hives have been installed in the school by local company Mel Torfaen Honey, and children and teachers have received training in looking after the bees and maintaining the hives. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The children also planted apple and pear trees and a mixture of colourful wildflowers, supplied by Cwmbran Community Council, and have created ‘bug hotels’ made from logs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Head girl Amy Pask, 11, said: “We wanted to do something to help the bees. Bees are dying all over the world and if we don’t have bees we won’t have any food to eat.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The children will do everything from looking after the hives, feeding the bees during the winter, and harvesting the honey. The school hopes to add more hives in the future and ultimately produce their own honey to sell. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Head teacher Jonathan Bussy said: “A lot of children see bees as something to be scared of and don’t make the link between the bees and the food on their plate. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“At Nant Celyn we try to give our pupils the opportunities to do things they would never normally have the chance to do. Having our own hives and teaching the children all about the bees eliminates those fears and gives them a greater understanding about where our food comes from. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“It is a fantastic learning experience for them and the teachers are all enjoying too, and are looking at ways to incorporate the bees into their lessons.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The schools eco committee gave a presentation to Torfaen council on what they have achieved at the school, and were awarded with certificates by the leader of the council, Bob Wellington CBE ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Wellington, a former bee keeper, said: “Bees are essential to our food chain and it is important that we do what we can to protect them. In Torfaen we are continually looking for ways to create habitats for bees and other pollinators, from our wild flower corridors to areas of meadow land. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Nany Celyn is the first school in the borough to actually install beehives in the school grounds and we hope that other schools will see what they are doing and want to follow their lead. A beehive in every school would be a fantastic achievement.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The hives are contributing to Torfaen council’s pollinator action plan, which has seen the council work with partners such as community councils and Bron Afon to create wildflower sites and new habitats across the borough. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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