Teachers attend Honey Bee Education Institute in Roscoe

Edmunds Central is hosting a Honey Bee Education Institute where teachers from 23 other school districts will learn how to operate their own bee hives
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 4:12 PM CDT
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ROSCOE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Edmunds Central is hosting a Honey Bee Education Institute where teachers from 23 other school districts will learn how to operate their own bee hives at their schools.

Edmunds Central science teacher Spencer Cody created the program to not only bring bee hives to his students, but to other districts as well.

”This May, we actually got four hives, and now we’re expanding that to 23 more school districts across South Dakota. So, we have east river and west river schools here,” said Cody.

Cody got the idea for the program while attending a workshop in California, so he created the proposal and curriculum and asked other schools to join.

“A lot of people didn’t really understand what our bees actually do. Maybe they know a little bit about it, but they didn’t understand the important role that our bees play in pollinating and producing all these different crops, not just honey production. So, that kind of led to the idea that we need an education program about that,” said Cody.

Teachers from 23 other districts agreed that having bee hives at their schools would be a beneficial learning experience for students and joined the two-day educational institute.

“From an educational standpoint, there’s so many connections you can make with the curriculum. So, I teach zoology, and I already teach about bees. This is a great connection to that or if you teach about plants and pollination,” said Cody.

The group of teachers toured Adee Honey Farms on Thursday to learn about honey production and extraction. The goal is to be able to extract honey from their own hives.

”We actually want to get real, homegrown honey on the lunch line so students actually know the difference between real honey and fake, synthetic honey-flavored sugars,” said Cody.

Axtell Park science teacher Rise Jongeling says she attended the institute to give her students more direct learning experiences.

”I know the kids like the hands-on opportunities, whether they’re working with any animals or insects or bees or plants. So, I wanted to bring that hands-on opportunity to my students in Sioux Falls,” said Jongeling.

Jongeling hopes her students will be able to understand the role bees play more once she has a hive for them to work with.

“They see it and can make that connection. Maybe they’ve driven by a field and there’s these white boxes out there. What’s that for? They’ll know and they’ll know the connection to the environment and the connection to our world and the connection to science,” said Jongeling.

The group will learn how to manage their hives from staff at Bees in the D, a beekeeping educational nonprofit based in Detroit.

”I couldn’t be happier to see all these teachers. They’re very fortunate here in South Dakota to have programs and people like Spencer that are working hard to bring these opportunities to our teachers to then pass on to our youth,” said Brian Peterson-Roest, CEO and founder of Bees in the D.

The teachers will be constructing their own bee hives during the educational institute, and they’ll receive their bees in their districts in May of 2023.

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