Khoa Nguyen ’22 NEWS Reporter
Every year, hundreds of thousands of students in the United States participate in spelling competitions called “spelling bees.” Although I am unclear of the rationale behind the naming of this competition, I suppose that the name “Spelling Bee” is emblematic of the diligent and tenacious efforts of the competitors, as bees are well known for their inspirational work ethic. In contrast to spirited participation in spelling bees, there is little effort from schools and students in helping bees themselves. To advance education and prepare students for the future, schools in the US should incorporate beekeeping into their curricula to raise awareness among students on the importance of bees in our ecosystem.
According to CNN, summer 2020 saw the steepest decline in the number of bee colonies in the United States. Overall, the country’s bee population has been halved since 1950. This is worrisome because bees account for one third of pollination activities, and they contribute heavily to the 20 billion dollar crop production of the US. Reasons for this decline include use of pesticides, monoculture, and habitat loss for farming.
To alleviate this loss, each school could have an ideal pollinator zone to support local bees. Not only beneficial to the bees, this program would diversify extracurricular offerings and provide students with access to an informative and educational activity. Moreover, the nature of beekeeping can help students develop character traits like commitment, perseverance, and responsibility. Along with that comes awareness of the natural environment and the emotional quotient to care, even for the littlest living things.
Thus, keeping a healthy bee population is imperative, and this should start with the education of young people about the importance of this crucial insect. Schools with adequate funding and facilities should adopt beekeeping programs as part of their extracurricular activities, providing students with hands-on experience of a very essential and honorable activity that could even help to save the world.