Students at Kenora’s St. Louis Living Arts School will have a new, unique opportunity to learn how to protect bees, as part of their new beekeeping club.

St. Louis received a $7,000 grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation to establish the program, which will be part of the curriculum for all St. Louis students.

The funds will be used to purchase beekeeping equipment, including beekeeping suits for students, the hive which students will build themselves, and fencing around the hives for safety.

Teacher Kerri Favreau said over the winter, the school will be preparing to start their own hives in the spring.

“It’s really important that we are spending months and months learning before the arrival of the bees. Throughout the winter they will learn more about how the hive operates. Classes will also be constructing the frames, building the hive, painting the hive.”

“We have ideas so that each class will have role to play. For example one grade will be responsible for extracting the honey, so that children know that when they get to that grade it is their turn to extract.”

“One grade will be responsible for monitoring the Queen. One grade be responsible for planting and caring for the clover that we will be planting around the hives,” Favreau explained.

Earlier this week, Kenora Beekeeping Club members Ingrid Braun and Shelley Bujold visited students bringing a beehive, and they showed students how to take care of bees, as well as how to build their new beehive.

Grade 4 student Leah Hamilton talked about why she was looking forward to the new project for the school. “I’ve never really gotten to make honey, so It will be interesting for me to try,” she said.

The club will also provide mentorship hours for members of the Kenora Beekeeping Club. The school was recognized as a Bee City School last year, which recognizes the work of schools and their students to protect the species. They are one of 33 schools in Canada with the designation.