At the back from left is Anna Chitty, Meg Stephenson, Lucy Dawson, Bronte Morton, Juno O’Connor, Briana Williams, Chloe Steele, Hollie John, Isaac Milner with Elise Morton in front. Photo: Kate Russell.

Getting a buzz out of bees

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“Bees are cool,” say Nelson Intermediate students.

A group of 20 young bee enthusiasts from the school have taken on a project to get their own beehives and make their own beeswax food wraps.

Teacher Anna Chitty says the school has around 100 students in its Enviro Group, who have split up to do different projects.

“This particular group wanted to get bees.”

The school will be getting three beehives at the start of next year with their caretaker Roger Thorn currently learning how to be a certified beekeeper.

“We received a Nelson City Council grant to purchase five bee suits and we’ll be renting a hive next term for the students that won’t be here next year,” says Anna.

In the meantime, the students are making and selling beeswax food wraps to raise money for other bee equipment.

Student Elise Morton says the aim is “to hopefully get rid of a lot of plastic lunch wrap and be more eco-friendly”.

They are also planning on using the honey from the bees for the school’s breakfast club.

Until the hives arrive, the wraps are being made with organic beeswax that has been donated by families. Students picked out the fabric and they have made over 100 so far.

“We had a production line going with different groups – the cutting table, the grating table, the organising table, the making table. First, we cut the fabric and measured the sizes,” says student Chloe Steele.

So far, they have sold 56 wraps to fellow students during lunchtimes, making them affordable for families with prices ranging from $1 to $5 with different sizes to choose from.

Anna says if members of the public want to purchase them, they can pop into the office during school hours, but they must bring cash.

“Stock is limited, but once we have our own bees and beeswax this project will be ongoing, and we will be selling them throughout the year.”