BEEMAIL

An update on the IPS Honey Bee installation

Dear Students,

I’m going to share with you some bee news. Most of you don’t know that during the first Saturday of Spring Break I went over to Bowen and me and my Masterworks advisors Magilee, Norm, and Amanda all helped me install the new bee colony.

A couple months ago the old bees got infected by a disease called varroosis caused by varroa mites, which caused their decline and killed off the whole colony including the queen bee.

The first thing that we did was disassemble the old bee colony frames, and we removed some of the honeycomb and put new pieces in the structure. Right now the new colony is building new honeycomb over the old ones.

What we did next was put on our bee suits and then we went outside. We took the small box holding 13,000 bees in it and we drilled a hole in the bottom of the crate and then slid a piece of metal underneath to make sure that no bees would escape. There was another little box inside of the bee box with the queen in it, and we took the queen’s own little box inside the school . We opened it up and the queen and 3 workers were in there.

Next we had to take the queen out separately and put her in a round mesh material tube to put a dark blue dot on the back of her body. I did the honours and put the dot on her. Then it was time to put her inside of the hive before the others. We got her in and she was shy and stayed on the bottom of the hive.

Then we went back outside, grabbed the rest of the bee colony, put them inside, and opened the top of the hive. Then we put the box on the top, slipped the metal slap off, and lost a couple of bees in the process.

After that we put books and a lot of tape to secure them to the top of the hive so that they wouldn’t escape. Finally within 4 days they completed the process of moving into the hive.

Now the bees are healthy, and thriving, producing new honey comb, and more.

Thanks for reading this email, I hope everyone is staying healthy, and going outside to enjoy the fresh air. If you have any more questions please let me know.

From Logan, and the Bees

 

Beewatch Update

The mason bees have flown the coop! Last year, the grade 7 class learned about pollinators and designed and planted a pollinator garden specifically for mason bees. We bought cocoons, mason bee houses and made houses for them to hatch out of and lay their eggs for next year. I am happy to report that the next generation successfully hatched out of the house that we made for IPS. They, along with our honey bees will be busy pollinating the flowers in the area and doing their part to conserving biodiversity in our community. Thank you to the grade 8s for all your hard work last year – it is nice to see that it paid off. If you would like to learn more about pollinators and bees, there are many resources out there but the newest and best is this delightful documentary that follows the life of a honeybee. Follow this link to the Nature of things documentary called “A bee’s diary”. This website tells you all about pollinators. This link will teach you about mason bees and how to attract native bees to your backyard.

IPS Teacher, Pam Matthews