Installation of the Bees!

Students and faculty in the Long Island Sustainability class. thumbnail257831

A long-awaited moment arrived on April 27 when thousands of bees arrived to their new home in Shoreham-Wading River High School’s new apiary. Students in the high school’s Long Island Sustainability class, science teacher Mr. Kevin Nohejl, and Director of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Dr. Joe Paolicelli were on hand to oversee the installation of each nucleus package (nuc), which contain, on average, between 3,000-5,000 bees (they installed one nuc in each of the three hives). Those populations will rise to anywhere between 40,000 to 60,000 bees per hive.

Peak population will occur in early July, at which time hives naturally begin transitioning toward winter preparation. The bees largely react to the disappearance of pollen and nectar and the shortened length of daylight as their trigger to begin winter preparations.

According to Mr. Nohejl, as the bees acclimate to their new environment, students will perform weekly inspections of the hives to monitor their population growth and viability and to check for any indications of pest or mite infestation. Students will also feed the bees on a weekly basis a sugar and water syrup to supplement their growth until the natural pollen and nectar flow peaks in approximately four weeks.

During the in-between moments, students will monitor the bees and witness firsthand all the behaviors and motions that they have been learning about all year. Students will note changes in behaviors and work to identify any alarming or concerning behaviors before a major crisis arises.

The program’s rigorous course of study tasked students with the design of the habitat and monitoring the health of the hives, learning along the way the full responsibilities of maintaining a bee hive.

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Date Added: 4/30/2024