The EcoVision club at Lacombe Composite High School is excited for the warm weather, both for their own enjoyment outside, but also for the health of their honeybees.

The newest additions to the LCHS's are three bee hives from Australia and New Zealand, which just came in within the last few weeks.

The project is part of the Green Certificate Program, which is an industry-driven agriculture training program, something the students are very proud to be taking part in.

Eventually, they plan on offering classes to the general public, so anyone interested in having a beehive of their own can learn exactly how to properly manage one.

Steven Schultz is the supervising teacher for this project, and he says the students who are a part of the EcoVision Club were the ones to get the ball rolling for the beehives.

"The reasons they wanted to do a project on bees, is because they were concerned about the environmental impact that the honeybees are encountering, and they wanted to make a difference by bringing awareness, and increasing the population of our local bees."

The first year the project was thought of was dedicated to research, to make sure the students knew exactly what they were getting into.

After that, they received permission from the City to have bees on school property.

That research also included studies to ensure the honeybees were not dangerous, and to inform the public about their intentions.

Eventually, the program received the green light, and thanks to some assistance from a similar program at Olds College, the Bee-Wise project was on, making it the first school in Alberta to offer a Green Certificate course on beekeeping.

Lacombe County also recently approved a $3,000 Environmental Improvement Grant in support of the project.

Student leader in the Eco-Vision Club Laine Unger says his passion about saving the environment was a big factor in deciding to join the club, and he looks forward to taking care of the bees, as well as informing others about them.

"I have seen the devastation of environmental damage, and what it can do to an eco-system, and I don't want this to happen to Lacombe...We'll just be managing our hives, and harvesting honey in the fall, which should taste really good. And educating students interested in the project, as well as community members".

The bee hives are located in the north west corner of the school, surrounded by soon to be pollenated flowers, and locked in by a chain link fence, to discourage vandals and ensure only trained EcoVision students have access to the hives.

They plan on selling some of the honey in local markets in the fall.

2017 05 01bees

A look under the lid reveals the busy bees.

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