Winchester Montessori school all abuzz with beekeeping program


Cooper Brown and Jennifer Sheehy have launched a new version of the school's beekeeping program

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — The Winchester Montessori School’s beekeeping program is creating quite the buzz around campus.

The beekeeping program is being run jointly by the school’s director Jennifer Sheehy and student volunteer Cooper Brown.

“It started last school year and the children actually decorated and then built the supers, they built the frames,” said Sheehy. “So it really was quite a classroom project.”

The school had previously kept a honeybee hive several years ago, but the program faltered when the man who had volunteered to help the school with it died.

Fourteen-year-old Brown, who himself is a Montessori graduate, and Sheehy took a beekeeping course together at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va. and hit the ground running.

“Doing that class, I learned so much about bees that I didn’t know before,” Brown said. “We get to teach the kids all about them and you know how to protect the bees you know and all the pollinators because we’re losing a lot of pollinators.”

Sheehy is using the program to get her students involved with and educated about the natural world around them.

“We can talk about the fact that the bees are not just the bees that we have here at our school,” she said. “Bees are all over the world and that we really just need to keep the bees alive.”

Cooper also hopes these students learn to appreciate nature and all that pollinators do for them through the program.

“Too many kids nowadays are so disconnected from the outdoors,” he said.

Plus, next year, they’ll have an added incentive to sweeten the deal: fresh honey.

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