Starting an Educational Hive

University school kip jacobs outdoor classroom

Fall is great time to start thinking about starting an educational hive at your school. That gives you six months to plan and seek funding before the weather warms up again.  Here are a few steps to follow that will help you succeed.

1. Start a Buzz

  • Begin by talking to members of your own department in high school or members of your grade-level team in middle and elementary schools. Be sure to include science teachers, parents, and community members. Build enthusiasm amongst your peers and help them to see the value in a beehive. Beepods provides online software for students and teachers to record their actions and observations.
  • Talk to your administrators. Float the idea past them and note any concerns they share. Provide examples of neighboring schools (like University School of Milwaukee) that have invested in Beepods Beekeeping Systems. Let them know that you would like to proceed with developing a proposal.
  • Meet with the head of facilities. Be sure you can explain how the hive will be maintained by volunteers (even during school breaks) and not by custodians.
  • Ask your school nurse for a list of any students that may be allergic to bee stings. Verify that these students have a plan in place in case of a sting. 

    University school kip jacobs outdoor classroom

    Kip Jacobs teaches a class at his University School of Milwaukee beehive.

2. Hit the Drawing Board

  • Draft a summary of your planned Beepods hive that you can share with interested staff members.
  • Create a timeline that includes starting and completion dates in order to make sure you stay on task.
  • Check to see if there are funds in the science department budget that could support the purchase of a hive. Contact Beepods to discuss funding options.

3. Present Your Hive Plan

  • Schedule a meeting with your principal, facilities manager, and the science department or Green Team. Be clear on the benefits of starting an educational hive and how it will build excitement and engagement with hands-on learning experiences.
  • Once you have a hive, invite your principal and other administrators to classes that are meeting at the hive. Take pictures and share your successes!

Bees work long hours in fall, collecting enough nectar so they can make it through the winter. With a little extra work planning your beehive this fall, you will be on your way to the sweet reward of STEM-based educational enrichment.





Bill Polacheck
Bill is a teacher, environmentalist, and freelance writer. If he's not out in nature, he's happy to be writing about it.

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