A team of sixth graders from Hadley Junior High School in Glen Ellyn visited Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago recently to spread its message about helping save bee populations as part of a class project.
“Bees pollinate one-third of the food you eat every day,” Hadley sixth grader Mohsin Siddiqi told the group of students, volunteer beekeepers and Kline Creek Farm staff.
Siddiqi and classmates Hanna Bochenski, Juwairiyah Hameri and Johnny Duckworth were working on a class project to find a way to help save bees.
Bee populations have been declining in part due to colony collapse disorder, which is caused by the overuse of pesticides and other factors, the students said.
In the United States alone, more than 25 percent of the managed honey bee population has disappeared since 1990, the students said.
Kline Creek Farm volunteer beekeeper Jim Truesdale said honeybees are dying off for four reasons: chemicals and pesticides, monoculture (raising only one crop), a lack of flowers and parasitic mites.
Kline Creek volunteer beekeeper Jim Truesdale talks to Hadley students about why bee populations are dwindling..
The students said people can do their part to help save bee colonies by planting bee-friendly flowers in their garden, making bee houses and using pesticides responsibly.
Bee-friendly flowers and plants include asters, black-eyed Susan, butterfly weed, bee balm, catmint, coneflower, foxglove beardtongue, goldenrod, great blue lobelia, herbs, hollyhocks, joe pye weed, larkspur, milkweed, monkshood, phlox, prairie tickseed, snapdragon, sunflower, tomatoes, white indigo and wild roses, the students said.
The students provided Kline Creek Farm with a poster board explaining the problem and providing instruction sheets for visitors outlining steps they can take to help bees. The poster will be on display at the Kline Creek Farm honey house to help educate visitors on the importance of honeybees.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Hadley students to help spread the word about this issue and what folks can do to fix it,” said Keith McClow, District heritage education manager.
Hadley sixth graders gave this poster board explaining the reasons for the decline in bee populations to Kline Creek Farm to help spread the word about the problem and provide solutions for visitors to implement to help local bee populations.