Pollinator Exploration Classes – New To Fort Wayne
New and unique to Fort Wayne, Southwest Honey Co. will be holding a pollinator educational program for kids and teens throughout the summer of 2016 that helps children connect with their environment through the eyes of the honeybee. Now enrolling online at www.southwesthoney.com/education, families can sign up their children and teens to experience a hands-on adventure-based class all about the honeybee, activity in the hive, how pollination impacts what we eat and more fun activities like a walk through the prairie and trying local honey.
The program has been customized for age groups kindergarten through high school and collegiate levels by the program’s lead educator Megan Ryan, who has her Master’s Degree in education. Each class will explore the honeybee in the depth appropriate for their learning level. “Each age group learns differently. I’ve designed each class to be as fun and impactful as possible to spread the knowledge about the plight of the honeybee and why they are so important to us.” Ms. Ryan continued, “The classes are more than just a fun activity-based learning environment. The honeybee is such an interesting insect; they are the perfect subject to get kids thinking about conservation and our environment.”
Beginning on May 30 through July on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the classes will be held under the “Science Tent” at the Southwest Conservation Club in Fort Wayne, Indiana. All of the class registration occurs online at www.southwesthoney.com. The length of time and price for each student varies from 90 to 150 minutes and $7.50 to $12.00 depending on the age level of the class. But, parents can learn along with their child for free!
“Who said learning has to be boring? Our class will encourage your child’s sense of adventure and wonder through the eyes of the honey bee. When excitement, movement and laughter are involved in a learning experience, the impact is great. Our students will leave as little experts on pollinators, how pollinators help our food and what they can do to help our pollinator friends!
Give your child a fun, exciting, impactful learning experience for less than the price of a movie ticket!” – Excerpt from www.southwesthoney.com
This program was brought to full fruition by support from the Southwest Conservation Club, SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), Betterbee and Wheeler’s Bees. With the help of these sponsors, the program foresees the attendance of over 1,000 students between May 2016 and January 2018. These estimates include on-site and off-site group and individual reservations of the program. Information from participant surveys before and after the class will help to gage the impact of the class in hopes to create positive “conservation” thinking and ultimately a direct impact consumer buying and chemical use habits.
This information will be shared with other beekeeping, conservation and agriculture organizations to help pollinators and to study the connection between education and environmental impact. Southwest Honey Co. believes that “Education is the most effective way to spread positive change, open minds, and inspire young people who are responsible for the future of our community and the earth we live on. We hope to bring young people, adults and seniors out to spend time learning about the intricacies of the hives, the art of beekeeping, and the importance of conservation minded thinking and living.”
The Problem Our World and the Honeybees are Facing
Since the late 1990’s, beekeepers have noticed a decline in the honeybee population including high rates of collapse within colonies. Beekeepers have reported between 30-50% higher rates of hive loss. The declining bee population is a serious concern and issue facing humans globally. Pollinators have a great impact on food production, the balance of ecosystems, and the farming community. There is an awesome symbiotic relationship between these essential pollinators and food we enjoy every day. For beekeepers, this problem of a declining honeybee population is a constant worry and heartache. However, to the average community member, there is a lack of awareness in regards to the honeybees and the severity of their situation.
Often times, the general public unknowingly uses harmful pesticides and treatments for their homes and lawns that hurt these struggling pollinators. Currently, there is a lack of conservation minded programs in the Fort Wayne area that focus on pollinator education. There are no pollinator education programs within ninety (90) miles of Fort Wayne. This makes it very difficult for educators to find field trips and guest speakers for their science courses and in-field experiences. Adults who are interested in educating themselves on honeybees find themselves traveling long distances to reach programs that only run seasonally in other cities.
The importance of solving these problems offers the chance to help others see the value and importance of these issues surrounding the pollinators and ways to help. These include ideas such as purchasing local honey and produce, and being conscious of daily habits that can be changed or amended to better help the environment in which they live and the honeybees they share it with.
About Southwest Honey Co.
Southwest Honey Co. was founded as an initiative to protect and conserve our local bee population. On a global level the bee population is declining; which if left unaddressed, will drastically change the world as we know it because of all of hard work the honey bee does. We exist to promote true conservation, education of the outdoors and the restoration of wildlife. From these hives we harvest local honey that is sold in support of our apiaries and mission to help the bee population.
We have partnered with local conservation “minded” organizations to study, report and address the issues surrounding the honeybee. This includes organizations on a local, state and national level.
We will be holding an adventure and exploration-based learning program, making a fun connection between our environment and ecosystem through honeybee education. The hands-on experiences will be offered to children, families, seniors and groups throughout the summer of 2016.
Our beekeeping practices are “bee-safe,” research based and naturally kept without chemicals or unnatural treatments.
More information can be found on www.southwesthoney.com