Now, more than ever, it is paramount that we help the bees. What was once a means of procuring honey, a sweet elixir purely for our enjoyment, is increasingly becoming a necessity for our survival. Bees are solely responsible for pollinating over 400 agricultural plants and they are dying at unrepresented rates. The national average hive loss hovered around 45% nationally in 2015, while here in Maryland beekeepers lost nearly 60% of their hives. Maryland is ahead of the curve on the very real fight to save the bees, passing the Pollinator Protection Act just last year.
At the Waldorf School of Baltimore (WSB), we are doing our part to save the bees! In addition to teaching our students about the importance of these insects; we are joining forces with the Association of Waldorf School in North America (AWSNA), and sister institutions from around the globe to create a Pollinator Highway. The goal being for Waldorf schools from the United States, Europe, Asia and beyond to establish and linkup through on campus beehives by 2019 for Waldorf Education’s centennial birthday.
Here’s where you come in, dear reader… Last year we unexpectedly lost our campus beehive to vandals, and have been working on rebuilding ever since. We ask that you please consider attending our Nature Explorers event, cohosted with Cool Progeny, on Saturday, March 25th from 10am to 12pm, to learn more about what you can do to save the bees. Your $5 entry fee will go directly towards purchasing all of the necessary materials to install a new WSB hive. Click here to register.
We have also begun an initiative that will take our beekeeping a step further: we are working with the Maryland Master Gardeners to establish a pollinator garden here on campus. In the coming weeks, students will be planting seeds for the new garden and learning first-hand in their Nature Studies classes from experts about bees. In an effort to engage our community, we are planning new signage for the hive and will be having a talk that will be open to the school community and the community at large on bees that will dispel common misconceptions about beekeeping. Many fear an accidental bee sting and assume that having a hive will increase the chances for a sting, but it turns out that that is one misconception among many that create hurdles for schools who want to keep hives.