Stingless Bee Garden
In 2018 our Year 7.1 students participated in a STEM project as part of our partnership with Sydney University’s STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy. The driving question for the project was, ‘Sustainability: Whose Responsibility?’ with the focus of the project being our native stingless bees.
This project has been recognised as an outstanding example of STEM education by being nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Australian Education Awards. The project was the first in our partnership with Sydney University and has led to the College implementing more STEM projects in 2019.
The culmination of the project was the installation of a native stingless bee hive in our beautiful front garden. The hive has now been in place for almost two years and our bees are thriving in their new home. The native stingless bee does not produce the same volume of honey as the more common honey bee. We were able to taste a little of the honey when the hive was split at the end of last year by our mentor, Elke Haege, from Native Stingless Bees.
Elke took the students who had worked on the project in 2018 through the process of splitting the beehive. This was a fascinating process and we were delighted that our hive was so healthy.
In 2019 the entire Year 7 cohort participated in the project to identify if it was possible for the College to sustain a second beehive on the site. The students worked in teams to monitor locations using sensors linked to Microbits. They then analysed the data and made recommendations for possible locations. In September 2020, Elke will install our second beehive in one of the locations identified by the students.
Our front garden has now taken on a new purpose, with our bees busy pollinating up to eight hundred metres from the College. They certainly are a great addition to our local community.