Buzzing with excitement
A primary school is buzzing after receiving a gift - a pollinating gift.
Stratford Primary School was given bees, and hives, to put in their garden and the school’s environmental co-ordinator Marlene Lewis couldn’t have been happier.
‘‘It’s such a special occasion for Stratford Primary School,’’ Lewis said. ‘‘I think there’s only 240 schools throughout New Zealand that have been donated the leafcutter bee hive.’’
New World Supermarket donated the enviro-school hibernating leafcutter bees, a less aggressive bee, a hive for them and a bumble bee home.
Owner of the Stratford grocery store Dan Harris said giving schools bees and hives was an extension of the Little Gardens’ promotion.
‘‘We give away wee seedling kits and they can collect the whole range to make a set. It teaches kids about how to grow their own food and what have you,’’ Harris said. ‘‘With the leafcutter beehives, they chose leafcutter bees because they don’t sting, which is good for the kids and it ties in really well.’’
Harris said he approached the school because he knew about their environmental efforts.
‘‘They do all of their recycling and composting and they’ve got all of their gardens set up - all the kids are right into it,’’ he said.
Lewis said the bees were a first for the school, and she made sure to make a big deal of it.
The school held a small presentation for the bees and their hives, and gave out bee-decorated cupcakes.
‘‘It’s for the children’s sake, it is a special moment,’’ she said.
Lewis said there had been concerns about having bees in the school, but there was no reason to worry.
‘‘Leafcutters aren’t an aggressive bee, the males don’t sting and the females apparently give a little sting like a mosquito but there’s no cases of anaphylactic reaction,’’ she said.
She said having bees completely fitted their enviro-school. ‘‘It’s all about sustainability and pollinating.
‘‘They’re having trouble with beehives dying out and they try to encourage different pollinators,’’ Lewis said.
The leafcutter bees are currently hibernating, but apparently like to wake when temperatures are around 21 degrees.
Since the real bees are hibernating, Dan Harris and Marlene Lewis had to hold the closest things to reality - bee cupcakes.