Ag Class Raises Bees, Hopes For a Better Season


In CHS’s Agriculture II Plant and Animal Sciences class, students have a sweet opportunity  to participate in a buzzing new project: raising bees.

This project gives insight to the process of taking care of living things, as well as how to deal with bees and properly take care of them. They also learn how to harvest honey.

“We have to do regular health checks on the bees, add boxes to the hive for more room to produce honey,” said Ag teacher, Troy Wiant, “then in the fall after the bees have built up enough honey to get them through the winter, we can take and harvest the extra honey.”

The project is three years old. During the first year of the project, they managed to get equipment needed, but didn’t buy any bees. In the second year, they got the bees and attempted to raise them, but tragedy struck and they didn’t make it past the winter.

“Last year, we weren’t very educated on how to take care of them, and it was a bad winter,” said Wiant. “We actually lost our bees. They died in the hive. Typically, if you can keep them just out of the snow and wind they survive outside. They kind of almost hibernate.”

This year Wiant hopes to have differing results. The class is now more educated and can handle the responsibility of beekeeping.

“I think we’ve got it figured out how to take care of them. Even if we have the same or worse winter, they should be fine,” Waint said. “We got them a little earlier this year so they were able to produce more honey, so their food storage is larger than it was in fall last year.”

The project is also unique not only for raising bees but for how it’s taught. Mr. Wiant and the students are almost in the same position. The project is new and everyday holds something they might have not gone through before.

“Most of the learning we’ve been doing on keeping bees, because I don’t really know anything about either, is through some books, local people, and then YouTube,” said Wiant. “When we have to go do something, we’ll watch it on YouTube and go do it.”

“I think the kids enjoy it a lot. Like they were saying, it’s a smaller type of project that any kid could do on their own,” said Wiant. “Some of the animal science or animal care skills they learn are the same they would use on larger animals.” 

The project so far this year has bought the equipment needed, and they’ve also bought the bees necessary. They hope to harvest plenty of honey from healthy bees.