|SCDS Beekeepers Club Helps Remove and Relocate Honeybees From a Local Church|
On Saturday, June 7, the SCDS Beekeeping club, led by teacher Andy Wiley, set out to help Jerusalem Baptist Church of Savannah who had been experiencing a growing issue with bees in their congregation for several years. After many failed attempts to eliminate the bees, representatives from the church contacted Country Day teacher and beekeeper Andy Wiley to see if he had any suggestions. “We would see a bee and get rid of it and before long another one would come out,” said one parishioner. The colony grew so large, that the buzzing from the hive could be heard inside the church and honey began oozing from the walls.
Mr. Wiley and the Middle School Beekeeping Club jumped on the opportunity to help the church, observe a colony in their natural environment and learn how to safely extract and relocate a live hive. With the help of Steve Slater, a local honeybee colony collector, the students and Mr. Wiley removed a portion of a wall from the back of the church and removed more than 60,000 honeybees with a vacuum that was attached to a new hive. The honeycomb was so thick that it had to be sliced off piece-by-piece with a filet knife and took several hours to remove. Once the hive and queen bee were placed in their new hive, Mr. Wiley relocated the bees to a protected area on Country Day’s campus.
SCDS was the first school in Savannah to have an observational hive in the classroom. The school also has three hives located at the Botanical Gardens and with the addition of this new colony will now have a total of five hives that the Beekeepers club will maintain. The Students will continue to help the church by donating all of the harvested honey from this new hive back to Jerusalem Baptist. Currently the club sells honey and soap from the hives to help cover the cost of maintaining them and also to raise money for the Bee Cause Project. Recently the club presented a check totaling $1,100 to The Bee Cause Project to help establish an observational honeybee hive in another local school.
School may be out for the summer, but SCDS students have found a way to continue providing service in the community and learning outside of the classroom!