MINNEAPOLIS -- On a cool fall day, the hives are quiet at The Blake School campus in Minneapolis. Bees aren't fond of cold weather, so seniors Maggie Ritten and Skylar Bork know they need to pay attention when they peak into one hive to check on the insects.
"Do you guys smell kind of, like, bananas?" Beekeeper Kristy Allen asked the pair.
"It's an alarm pheromone," replied Ritten. "So that means we're gonna go."
Ritten leads Blake's Beekeeping Club, which aquired its hives from Community Bees on Bikes last spring.
"I was interested, personally, to have bees at my home," said Dean of Students Dion Crushshon. While that plan didn't work out at home, Crushshon did find a way to get bees on the school's campus.
Community Bees on Bikes was looking to partner with organizations that could host hives, and serve as a place where people could be educated about bees and their critical role in our world.
"A third of everything we eat is pollinated by a honey bee, and they're in distress," said co-founder Erin Rupp. "Colony collapse disorder is a real thing and hives are dying."
Blake involved its Environmental Science students in the project. They've planted a bee-attracting flower garden, and also helped build the fence the encloses the hives.
Blake's elementary students, who attend class on another campus have field trips planned to see the bees at the Upper School, where members of the Beekeeping Club will serve as educators.
Crushshon says interest is high campus-wide. "Faculty are interested, 7th graders, seniors. It's something that's hitting the entire community."
Community Bees on Bikes' Allen and Rupp are hoping other schools will get involved, too. They offer classes for individuals and groups.
You can learn more at Community Bees on Bikes.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved.)