Bee Clever! K-12 Educational Outreach (2015-2016)

AISD Teacher Miguel Rizo and students at Brooke Elementary School's Career Day

AISD Teacher Miguel Rizo and students at Brooke Elementary School’s Career Day

American Honey Bee Protection Agency’s Bee Clever! program provides K-12 education and maintains school hives. We talk about the ‘hive mind’ – the sharing of knowledge to arrive at collective wisdom.  What better place to think well together about planet earth than with our children?  And with…honey bees!

Big Thanks to the schools in central Texas who nurtured honey bees with AHBPA during the 2015-2016 school year!  You and your schools are playing a leadership role in growing public awareness of the importance of supporting pollinators and keeping our environments free of pesticides and safe for bees and people.

Seven campuses adopted AHBPA-sponsored bee colonies in 2015-2016:   Austin Achieve, Austin Discovery School, Austin Montessori, Bowie High School, Brooke Elementary, Shadowglen Elementary, and Small Middle School.


AHBPA Head Beekeeper Rick Fink with Austin Montessori Teacher Veronique Maureen and students


Graduating Bowie HS Senior LIli Benitez, here with fellow senior Angel Reyes, has been with AHBPA’s programs since middle school.

The hives on five of those campuses, in particular, contribute to lush, healthy micro environments around the schools.

Student and community-built, eco systems surround the buildings at Austin Achieve, Austin Discovery School, Austin Montessori, Brooke Elementary and Small Middle School.  Their school wide commitments result in — canopies of native shade and fruit trees; vegetable, herb, and pollinator gardens; chickens and at Small, goats; composting, recycling, and reuse of materials; rain water collection barrels and ponds.

Small Middle School and Austin Discovery School took it one step further with clean energy experiments important for teaching about energy’s connection to clean air — Thora Oneil Gray’s solar ovens at Discovery and a small wind turbine at Small.  All of these projects…and AHBPA bees contribute to healthy micro environments around the schools.


AISD Teacher Edna Rangel and students on Career Day at Brooke Elementary School

Thanks to the following schools and individuals for creating eco system wellness! —


Austin Discovery School teacher Thora Oneil Gray opens the school’s spring pageant to save the bees

Teacher Sam DeSanto, Principal Griselda Vargas, Assistant Principal José Luis Mejía and the teachers and students at Brooke Elementary School, AISD; ACE students and Teacher Wesley Vincik at Palm Elementary School; students and Teacher Anne Paredes, Creative Action students and Teachers Fadeelah Flemings and Alyssa Dillard and Blackshear Bridge Teacher Adam Williams atBlackshear Elementary School; Student Angie Black, Teacher Christopher Brooks, Principal Nelson and the students at Small Middle School, AISD; ACE  atudents and Teacher Madeline Jennings at Paredes Middle School; Students Lili Benitez and Angel Reyes, Teacher Tiffany Black, Principal Stephen Kane, Assistant Principal Vicente Trevino, and administrative staff member Katie Gilman at Bowie High School, AISD; students, parent, and Teacher Amanda Lengnick-Hall and Principal Karen Miller-Kopp at Shadowglen Elementary School, Manor ISD; Chefs Club students, Teachers Sara Bentley and Hanna Bratton, Development Director Emily Morrison, Facilities Director José Gonzalez and Swarm Watcher 😉 Ignacio Zaragoza at Austin Achieve; Teachers Thora Oneil Gray, Tim Ornes, Kim Pavlinsky, Principal Sherri Guess and students at Austin Discovery School;  Teacher Veronique Maureen, students and community at Austin Montessori Middle School; second grade students and teachers with Teacher Melissa Tidwell, Old Town Elementary, Round Rock ISD; food class students and Teacher Amber Steffan, Canyon Ridge Middle School, Lake Travis ISD.  Big pats on the back!  Bee love to you all!



Austin Montessori Middle Schoolers ready for bees


 [VIDEO:Left] A’niayah Goodman and Perla Olivares at Austin Achieve demonstrate how to light the bee smoker.

Email AHBPA Eco Wellness Director, Donna Hoffman, if you would like to schedule a Bee Clever! class at your summer camp or on your school campus during the School Year 2016-2017.


Great source of information and wisdom: — Beekeeping through the Eyes of a Biologist

Most areas of Texas have beekeeping associations with regular monthly meetings.  These meetings are a great source of information and connections to additional learning resources.  Here’s an interactive map and a list of beekeeping associations in Texas.

Summer Clinic, Texas Beekeepers Association, Sat. June 18, Conroe, Texas – See the schedule and register by June 5 for the discount —

The White House 2015 National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators

Bee in the Know

Here’s the latest report on Colony Collapse Disorder released May 16, 2016 from the Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), a group of leading researchers funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture shows this — 1. Summer losses are almost as high as winter losses; 2. Losses are being driven by multiple factors, especially pesticide use, disease, and environmental problems; 3. Losses need to be knocked down to about 18.7% if they are to be manageable.  Here’s a short article about the BIP report with links to key information.

Bee informed!

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