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Program builds young leaders by saving the bee population

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Posted at 5:14 AM, Oct 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-28 05:14:45-04

Bees pollinate about 15-billion dollars’ worth of crops each year.

Losing them is a threat to our food supply and our economy. Now one woman is creating quite a buzz – she’s the force behind a program for at-risk youth aimed at saving honeybees and building leaders.

These students are getting a ‘hands-on’ lesson about the environment.

They’re breeding queen bees at the patch of heaven sanctuary near Miami thanks to Reverend Linda Freeman, Executive Director of the Peacemaker Family Center Creator, Generation 2050 Program.

“A third of our food supply is dependent on pollinators,” Freeman said.

The minister with a degree in environmental engineering wanted to create a program helping turn kids into leaders.

She told Ivanhoe, “So generation 2050 includes environmental sustainability, environmental stewardship.”

With a 40 percent loss in colonies last year, Freeman wanted students to understand the connection between themselves and nature.

“If a third of our food supply depends on honeybee pollination, that loss is going to affect our food supply,” Freeman said.

Asia Dawson, is a Certified Junior Beekeeper, “When you open the hive, they’re really loud, like all you hear is buzz!”

Most of the girls, like Dawson, had no idea what to expect walking into the hives.

“Try not to be scared because they can sense your emotions,” she said.

Kyla Thompson, Certified Junior Beekeeper, is now fluent in urban beekeeping. Honey bees need to gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey. That means the average bee will only make one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey during its lifetime

“I like how the females rule the colony,” Thompson said.

In fact, the group named all their queen bees after strong women, from Bee-Yonce to Cardi Bee! Keeping the buzz going!

The year-round program called bats, bees and butterflies is now being funded by the National Geographic Society as well as the children’s trust. The group hopes to travel to Honduras later this year to study the native bees there. Linda says if you don’t have a program like this where you live, call your nearest national park and ask what kind of projects they offer. Just getting your kids outside is the first step.

For more information, go to www.childrenstrust.org.