Today we would like to tell you a little about our work with TASIS school in Dorado, Puerto Rico. We are looking forward to building and creating more programs like this with schools around the island. If you are an educator or someone that is interested in creating a bee curriculum please feel free to reach out to us.
We are lucky to have a guest post from bee lover and educator Susan Fiallo.
"When Hurricane Maria passed, our school suffered as did all Puerto Rico, though because we have a large, green campus and are bordered by a farm and mogotes, the devastation to all plants and wildlife was especially evident. We all noticed that birds, bats and down to the smallest bees, were hungry, displaced and dying.
In our effort to find ways we could help, we learned about how critical the recovery of the bee population was to the recovery of agriculture and all vegetation in Puerto Rico. Students and teachers wanted to get right to work, so our Bee Project was born. We formed a Bee Club with middle and high school students and worked with Miguel Carbonell, an experienced apicultor who helped us install a demonstration bee box in our library. Together with our Fab Lab teacher Cristina Centeno and our environmental educator Axel Carrasquillo the club grew and everyone in TASIS Dorado was learning about the importance of protecting bees!
The Creation of the Dorado Bee Club
The library Bee Box became the center of bee learning in TASIS Dorado and we were excited to share everything we were learning with our community. The Bee Club organized educational presentations to elementary, middle and high school students, conducted research on temperature and humidity inside the box. The Library and the Bee Box was a must-see for all visitors to our school. In addition, we connected with the students and teachers of a local elementary school in Dorado and invited them to join us in this project. We planned a field trip for them to our school and just then, we were interrupted by the pandemic and schools closed. We hope to reconnect this year and get that project started again soon.
While we were busy sharing bee information to our school community,several business oriented students in the TASIS Dorado Bee Club formed the Bear Hive Honey Company, learning about social entrepreneurship and the process of starting a business.
Teaching Social and Economic Responsibility
The students created beeswax/soy candles, lip balm, and sold honey that we bought from local farmers. The students also created bee stickers, puzzles, bee ornaments and other fab lab-created items to sell. The proceeds were used to help fund the project and also prepare an area in the Sabanera farm for full size bee hives!
During the pandemic, with the help of our community, our mentor Dr. Bert Rivera, and special thanks to the Karma Honey Project, TASIS Dorado was able to install two beautiful, thriving bee hives. We even added a super to one of them recently. We’re looking forward to our first taste of our own honey soon!
Now that we are back on campus, we already have our Bee Club with 22 members ready to learn about and care for our bees! We look forward to supporting bees and other pollinators through educating our students, caring for our bees, planting gardens and helping the Karma Honey Project in their work."
- Susan Fiallo