There’s certainly a buzz in the air for East Wemyss Primary pupils... and that’s not just because the school holidays are round the corner!
A group of P6 and P7 pupils are members of the Allotment Group and are now fully fledged bee-keepers, having received training from Bee Buddies.
The social enterprise, run by Kay Roonie from Buckhaven and Willie Dickson from East Wemyss, has been running since September last year, and has already put in an application for charitable status and recently moved into the Fife Renewables Innovation Centre.
The duo offer workshops to schools, youth groups, brownie groups, etc on the importance of bees to our environment, but after visiting East Wemyss, they were asked if they could help set up the school’s very own hive at the allotment just off The Barony.
And after lots of training, the pupils welcomed their new winged-pals last week.
They are one of the first in Scotland to receive the bee-keeper training, which means they know how to handle the bees, how to collect honey and monitor the queen all on their own.
Amy Connor, East Wemyys teacher and leader of the Allotment Club, is delighted with the kids’ enthusiasm and said the launch went very well.
“It was a great success and the whole community came together to watch. There was a lot of preparation work beforehand, and the children even built parts of the hive from scratch.
“Bee Buddies were there to talk them through it all and they transferred the bees all on their own.”
Now that the children have their own hive, it will be up to them to take care of it, monitor the queen and collect the honey too.
And it seems the bees are already liking their new home.
“The kids have already been down to check the bees and they’ve been out and about collecting nectar and bringing it back, which is great,” said Amy.
Kay Roonie from Bee Buddies explained why teaching kids about bees is so helpful.
“We teach them about the importance of bees not for honey, but for pollination.
“We explain how bees help our environment, and the difference between them and wasps. It’s all about education, and saving bees by training people, especially kids who tend not to have the same fear.
“The six pupils and three staff members at East Wemyss Primary have done a phenomenal amount of work getting the hive ready, and the kids were all very confident on the launch day.”
Bee Buddies has already worked with a number of other schools in the area, including Aberhill and Denbeath, and offers free support to individuals who wish to set up their own hives. Visit www.facebook.com/beebuddies1.