This month I attended the Delta Bee Club monthly meeting in Modesto. I spoke about Seeds for Bees, hedgerows, Varroa-sensitive hygiene stock improvement, and the Honey Bee & Monarch Partnership. Before I spoke I had the privilege of listening to a presentation by the Hickman Brickmen. They are a homeschooled group–part of the Hickman Charter School in Hickman, California. These students, grades 5-8, decided to focus their latest project on investigating the issues surrounding the decline in honey bee health. They concluded a feasible way they can help improve bee health is through education and planting more bee forage. It’s like they are doing my job for me!
During this past year, they have presented their work to kindergarteners at the Hickman Charter School, Delta Bee Club members, and local almond farmers. They informed the young students about the alarming statistics that display the loss of hives beekeepers are experiencing each year. They also shared how essential bees are to our agricultural food system. The team returned 2 weeks later and planted wild flowers in the garden on campus. To date, the Hickman Brickmen have spoken to growers that represent over 300 acres of farmland in the Central Valley. This research project was done in preparation for a FIRST Lego League competition. The Hickman Brickmen received two trophies for their achievements at the qualifier and have advanced to the championship which is scheduled for January 2017. Good luck to the Hickman Brickmen and thanks for all your hard work in supporting honey bees!