Bee project keeps students busy at South Columbus High School

October 14, 2013


By Deuce Niven

TABOR CITY – Bee colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon with worldwide implications for agriculture and food supplies, is getting attention in a schoolwide project at South Columbus High.

Two active hives are in place on campus, and there are plans for more, teachers Ronald Carteret and Jennifer Spivey said.

Every class has a role to play in researching the disorder, where worker bees seem to suddenly disappear from a hive.

“It’s a team effort,” Spivey said. “In our biology class, for instance, our kids will be trying to redesign the hive in a way to better keep out pests.”

Predators to bees include the varroa mite, Spivey said. The tiny creatures attach themselves to bees and suck the life from them.

Controlling predators may not solve colony collapse disorder, but South Columbus students and faculty are trying to learn as much as they can about the bees, and what threatens them, Carteret said.

“Every class is doing research, trying to figure out colony collapse,” Carteret said.

“It’s important,” Spivey said. “Thirty percent of our food comes from bees and the pollination that they do. In China, now, they have to hand pollinate their pear trees. We don’t want to have to do that.”

Faculty members were asked during the 2012-2013 school year to come up with a schoolwide project addressing a global issue, Carteret said. They began discussing colony collapse disorder and quickly grew interested.

“We were amazed,” Carteret said. “It’s been an amazing experience for our school.”

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