Coleman Middle School is saving the environment one bee at a time

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) - Thousands of bees swarmed into Coleman Middle School Tuesday with the help of Britt "The Bee Guy" who tells KSN this is the first time he's done this for a school.

"I just love introducing people to bees," said Britt.

However, this time it was more than just a casual meet and greet. Coleman Middle School decided it wanted to give its garden a little extra love and add bees to the campus' green space permanently.

"We are actually adding an entire curriculum to the class, all centered around the bees," said Jared Hall, Coleman instructor.  "This will be great for our garden and good for the students."

Coleman, like most Kansas campuses, has a gardening class, but it is the first school in Kansas to incorporate bees into the curriculum.

"This is actually pretty cool, being able to hang out with the bees," said Jamarion Maloney, a student at Coleman.

Maloney says his gardening class has always been interesting, but this new addition bumped it up a notch.

"Not all fruits and vegetables can be self-pollinated, like Zucchini," said Hall. "Some of these need cross-pollination."

Hall tells us bees are fundamental to the environment, and he feels teaching kids about their importance can make a difference. Britt "The Bee Guy" created a safe space for the bees to filter into the garden while also allowing the students to observe them as they grow.

"This is what it's all about," said Britt. "Without bees, 90 percent of our fruits and vegetables would be non-existent."

Initially, the students were a little reluctant to interact with the bees, but by the end of the class they couldn't get enough of them.

"I learned that the bees don't like to sting people, they like to be friendly," said Kevion Johnson, Coleman student.

Students interacted with the bees by holding them in their hands to get a closer peek at their new buzzing friends.

"At first, I was scared of the bees, but now, like if you saw me outside, I let the bees walk all over my arm," said Taeveon Berry, Coleman student. "Bees are kind of cool."

These students have partnered with some local stores like Churn and Burn Parlor, Donut Whole and Whole Foods to sell their honey.

"This is a little way to teach the students entrepreneurship as well as give back," said Hall. "Whole Foods actually gave us the grant to start our garden, so it feels good to be able to do something for them."

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