“Bee Friendly, Bee Loving, Bee Kind, and most of all Bee yourself.”
–Apiarist Britt Hopper
There are many devastating challenges facing us if we lose the precious honey bee through colony collapse caused by climate change and unsustainable use of herbicides and pesticides. Through apiarist Britt Hopper’s own passion for the bees and Robin Macy’s Bartlett Arboretum ecosystems, both have discovered that the tenuous ecological future lies as much in the hands of our youth as it ever has throughout all of human history.
In 2013 Hopper helped Bartlett Arboretum establish their bee colony, now numbering eight hives. In addition he is presenting Bees 101 (his bees and presentation about the bees, and bee-sticks full of varied honeys) for Second Sunday Salon — A cornucopia of Culture programming held in Bartlett’s historic train depot. Nestled in a 100-year -old forest canopy, the 135 -year-old Santa Fe Railroad depot is located at the edge of the Arboretum property. In 2013-2014, the depot became a restored sunny studio that attracts a creative community inspired to escape to a rural retreat to create , educate and be inspired just 20 miles south of Wichita, Kansas. Also, at the same time Hopper took Bees 101 to more than 500 students in schools throughout central Kansas.
With Amaterra’s grant, Hopper will be able to expand the number of hives both at his home-base in Valley Center, Kansas and the Arboretum in Belle Plaine, Kansas. The goal is to increase honey production by 30% and support local pollination. Hopper will work with educators Connie Bonfy MAE, Nancy Holman MSE, and Robin Macy MSE to create Bee Happy — Bees 101educational activity book for youth grades 2-5. The activity will contain curriculum-specific activities in science and arts infused with activities by grade level to help students learn and retain the information he demonstrates and shares with them during classroom visits. As an aid to their grade level science curriculum, Bee Happy will help classroom educators teach Kansas youth about bee colony collapse as well as the broader issues of climate change and the other negative forces that threaten the health of bees thereby reinforcing Hopper’s presentations. Through Amaterra’s support Hopper will be able to increase Bees 101 presentations to students both in the schools and Bartlett Arboretum school tours (30 classes per year) to reach at least 1500 students grades 2-5 each year beginning in the 2014 school year.
(above adapted from original grant proposal by Ms. Connie Bonfy)
The Kansas State Department of Education has adopted A Framework for K-12 Science Education Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas(2012) as the core science curriculum and standards of what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. This core curriculum along with art standards for each grade level will be used to develop Bee Happy which will contain puzzles, games and art projects that children can enjoy while learning in the classroom and at home with their families. Grant arranged by Amaterra member Jerry Harney and grant writer Connie Bonfy.
Thank you Amaterra
I am very humbled and very grateful. Your generous gift means so much to Bee University/Bees 101. I’ve been doing this on my own. Teachers would ask if I would come teach about bees. They would inform me there is nothing in the budget to have me come. But would I come anyway? My answer has always been yes. Sometimes teachers try to bless me out of their own pocket.
$15. Every now and then. I never asked for compensation from them.
I’ve found that old ears do not hear. Bees are dying. Oceans are dying. Water is being misused. So it occurred to me to educate children of any age, any one that would hear. So I started Bee University/Bees 101. My motto is “Bee Friendly Bee Loving Bee Kind and most of all Bee yourself.”
The Honey Bee is one of a kind. The benefits from the honeybee and the hive is a major lifeline for all mankind. So to change the future I’ve taken the importance of the honeybee to children. With your help it will be done to more schools and to more listening ears. Ears that can change the environmental course that we are on. The end result a better future a healthier world.
I am very grateful and humbled by your generosity and support. Thank you! We say/hear that every day thank you. I’m typing it in this letter it’s often taken for granted those simple words. But for me I’m screaming inside on the tallest hill Kansas has to offer with gratitude. Thank you. Thank you for being a game changer. Thank you for caring for the future of children and mankind everywhere.
With warm regards,