Success of Beehive Program at Fairview Elementary opens doors for the future

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COLUMBIA- Science and the outdoors have always been a passion for Columbia Public Schools science coordinator Mike Szydlowski.

Over the past year, he has spread that passion for nature by incorporating a beehive program at Fairview Elementary School. Fairview Elementary installed the hive into its courtyard in April. From the day the hive was put into place the students were hooked.

“I think it has been a huge success. I mean our entire school has rallied around the concept of the bees and the hive this year,” Fairview Elementary School Vice Principal Tyler Simmons said.

The main purpose of the program is to teach the students the importance of bees and why they are necessary in our environment. Szydlowski says he also expanded his own knowledge of bees through the program.

“I really did not know anything about beehives prior to this program, and I wasn’t sure how it would work. But I am learning every single day, and the hives have proved to be a great addition to the school.”

 The bees are shipped to Fairview, and once they get to the school, both Szydlowski and fifth grade teacher David Earls put the boards together in the hive and maintain them throughout the year.

“I do the feeding and maintenance here and Mike will help me whenever we do big things with them or check and see how the bees are doing,” Earls said.

The students are able to watch this process take place and both Earls and Szydlowski said that it is a very popular attraction whenever new bees are put into the hive.

With the success of the beehive program at Fairview Elementary, Szydlowski has bigger goals in mind.

“In the future, there will be beehives installed at five other schools in the county. At West Middle School, I want to also work with the technology department and install a beehive camera,” Szydlowski said.

 For the students and teachers at Fairview, Earls believes the bees are a great addition to the school and learning environment.

“I think overall, it has gotten people more interested in some of the things that they are supposed to learn about and I think it has made it a lot more fun.”

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