By Stephanie Castillo and Lesliann Boucher
On April 4, William Penn welcomed bees to their farm to help with the declining local population of bees, and aid in the pollination of the vegetables and plants. They were brought in at around 1 pm that day from California, with the agriculture students following behind clad in bee suits, while other William Penn students watched in awe.
As mentioned before, the bees came from California, and totaled to around 6 pounds. Karen Ferrucci, agriculture teacher, said, “Typically hives have 10’s of thousands of bees and each only has one Queen.” All the bees that are in the hive are females
William Penn students will be the ones to monitor the hives health as well as providing them with food. Ferrucci said, “Since hives are very self-sufficient, student interactions will be limited. Eventually once the hive is healthy, we will be able to increase the hive’s size and collect honey.”
Of course, the question many have is what are the dangers of having bees so close to campus? And what are the precautions we’re taking? Ferrucci explained, “Stinging is the major danger. But this is the only danger and only if the person who is stung is allergic. Our students have undergone safety training to recognize the signs and what protocol to follow or a person showing signs of an allergic reaction.”
The bees are priced per pound, and the district paid the final cost. Ferrucci stated the bees will be located near the greenhouse, facing southeast without any blockades in front of them.
The Penn Farm, FFA , plant science, animal science, environmental science classes and regular science classes will be able to benefit from the bees. Normally the agriculture and environmental students go out and look at the bees, but in order for anyone to see the bees there a form that has to be signed by parents for safety reasons.