L’Académie Catholique Notre-Dame in Kemptville received a hive of honeybees on June 16. This is the first of the North Grenville schools to take on such a program, and the initiative is a pilot project for the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) carbon footprint reduction plan. The hive was provided, and will be maintained every 3 weeks, by Alvéole, a francophone certified B Corporation that specializes in urban beekeeping.
Students of L’Académie Catholique Notre-Dame were given the opportunity to watch the hive being set-up over Facebook Live. Alvéole beekeeper Jean-Simon explained every step of the process as he worked to settle 15,000 bees into their new surroundings. This was the first of many educational opportunities that the hive is expected to provide.
Director of Education Marc Bertrand said that the program is expected to, “plant a seed of ecological awareness in our youngest learners and awaken a sense of environmental responsibility among our older students and staff.” Hands-on projects such as this one give students the opportunity to really grasp issues of environmental protection, biodiversity, and food security. Principal Angela Certosini noted that the, “beauty of the project” for Notre-Dame is that the hive intersects with the curriculum for all students, from Kindergarten through Grade 12. Alvéole will return to offer a number of workshops to students, aiding in the translation of curriculum material to the hands-on practice of beekeeping.
Through 2022, the hive is expected to produce about 100 jars of honey. There is great excitement and debate at Notre-Dame about how these jars will be put to use: perhaps in teaching entrepreneurship, as well as fundraising through the sale of honey.
You can watch a recording of the event, as live-streamed to students, at https://fb.watch/69Xmy68txN/
Rachel Everett-Fry, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Grenville Times