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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 12:58 am

Mayor buzzing about beekeeping initiative led by Te Aro School

Mar 12th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Lead Story, Most Popular, Multimedia, News

Wade holding beesWELLINGTON mayor Celia Wade-Brown yesterday visited Te Aro School, the first Wellington primary school to keep beehives.

The mayor spent time suited up with the children amongst the bees, before talking with school staff about the importance of nature based education.

“If you miss out as a child it’s actually quite difficult to catch up,” says Ms Wade-Brown.

Martin Toland of the Wellington Beekeepers Association was excited by the mayor’s interest.

“It’s a great sign that the city is doing something. It’s good for the people and the environment,” he says.

He also believes Wellington can go further, “I want to see bee hives on roof tops across the city, on public buildings, in parks and in schools.”

Lots of smokeMr Toland has helped the school, which became interested in bee keeping last year, maintain their hives.

Principal Sue Clement says after learning about the crisis around bee numbers, the children wrote to the board and parents about the possibility of bringing bees into the school.

After positive feedback they then fund-raised to buy a Top-Bar hive to go with the Langstroth hive loaned to the school by the Wellington Beekeepers Association.

“The children were keen to build two hives because they wanted to compare and contrast the quantity of honey they produced, and whether there was a taste difference in the honey,” says Claire Tocher whose classroom maintains the hives.

She says there have only been a few reported bee stings since their introduction, and none have occurred in the designated area where  kids are protected by suits provided by the beekeepers association.

Mr Toland says, “The bees pollinate all the plants that live around Te Aro and a honey harvest two weeks ago gave us 15-16kgs of honey.”

But most importantly he says, “the kids just love it.” Celia with Ivie

What the students say:

Melann Kua , (10)

Loves: “Smoking the bees and seeing the different colours of Pollen.”

Favourite Fact: “The worker bees have to clean the drones poo.”

Evie Mcgruddy, (8)

Loves: “Holding the frames and brushing the bees off.”

Favourite fact: “The worker bees have to fan their wings to cool down the hive.”


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  1. Nice work, Josh!

  2. Good one Josh, loved the students comments.

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