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Ag students learn the importance of bees

16/05/2014

Year 10 Agriculture students painting the bee hives.

This term is all about bees for the year 10 Agriculture class. We have been busy painting bee hives, building frames and wiring frames for the bees to build their comb on top of the foundation wax. One student came up with the expression ‘no bees, no trees, no oxygen, no life’ which is very true.  Apiculture, which refers to beekeeping and honey production, is worth about $55 million dollars in retail honey sales nationally, and approximately $8 million dollars in by-products. Australia produces approximately 30 000 tonnes of honey every year and is the fourth largest exporter of honey, with between 25% to 50% sold overseas each year.

Bees play a vital role in the pollination of agricultural crops – human survival is dependent on the work of bees. Pollen is picked up in combs on their legs, which then brushes against the female part of a flower, leading to fertilisation of the flower and the subsequent production of fruit and vegetables. The students have the opportunity to examine bee behaviour up close with the school’s own hives. In spite of a dry summer, there was also opportunity to try some of school honey – which most of us loved to do!