North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
May 15
Windsor Library buzzing with new resources

By Lisa Ottenbreit, Teacher-Librarian

Windsor Secondary’s Library and Learning Commons is now home to an important new resource – a hive of honey bees!

Brad Farrell, science teacher; Magali Chemali, science teacher and Beewatch owner; and I collaborated to bring this project to life and provide the school community with an up-close and personal opportunity to observe how honey bees work collectively to develop and maintain their hive.

A complementary informative display and library resources teach students about the critical role bees and other pollinators play in the local ecosystem. In addition, visitors can learn about the various contributors to the colony, such as the workers, drones, and of course, the queen.

Windsor Bees1.jpgWe hope this project, along with Argyle Secondary’s, inspires other schools to provide a similar learning experience for students to connect with nature, and ultimately, to grow capacity for appreciating the need for protecting these important and complex creatures.

Windsor students, staff and visitors have been very excited to see the bees flying safely in and out of the enclosed structure, building their colony. Every day, students and staff pop into the library to check on the bees, with many remarking on the incredible work on display.

Grade 11 student Drew Saballa has a great respect for the honey bees and visits daily. He understands “their community is highly complex and their system of hierarchy is strictly followed. The hive works entirely to protect the queen at the cost of their own lives.”

We would like to thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Intergenerational Land Learning Project at UBC for generously supporting Windsor’s beehive initiative. Thanks also goes to Windsor’s Green Team, whose members will be helping with this project by replenishing the water and nectar supplies.

On a final note, we thought you would be interested to know that honey bee species are social and as a superorganism, individual bees cannot survive without each other. A beautiful metaphor for humans.


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