We had weather research, to see what effect the Cumbrian weather has on our bees ability to forage, (collect food) An anatomically accurate Queen bee, a Mayan beehive... a super solitary bee house, and a curriculum plan, for a short beekeeping course for other children!
The children had to present their diaries to Mrs Cuthbertson, and then inspect a hive of bees, showing her all the elements of a brood frame of bees. As it is 'swarming season' (more of that in another post!!) The examiner asked lots of questions about how we try to control swarming in our hives... half way through the examination, our 'eagle eyed' candidates shouted, 'Queen cell!' which meant they had to put all their skills into practice there and then, by splitting the colony and performing an artificial swarm!!! Amazing! (though a little stressful for me having to watch!) They did brilliantly, and so now we have 3 colonies in school, which means the enterprise element of bee club can come in, as the children plan to sell colonies to fund bee club...genius!
Although we won't know the results for at least 6 weeks, as they have to go to the National Centre and be ratified by the exam board..(all very formal!) Mrs Cuthbertson was really impressed with the level of knowledge and skills the children had, she was especially pleased as the children had such a good understanding of what to do in an emergency in the apiary... she said she wished her adult beekeepers were so safety conscious and prepared! I was so unbelievably proud of all our young people, it was such a privilege to watch them confidently and independently show what they can do... well done everyone!