Hive Minds

Diplomas and congratulations went to 130 students completing this year’s bee school, a set of six weekly classes hosted by the Merrimack Valley Beekeeper’s Association.

The classes began Tuesday evening, March 1, at St. James United Methodist Church in Merrimack.

The MVBA, one of eight beekeeper clubs in the state, has members who enjoy learning about beekeeping and promoting the well-being of honeybees.

An innovation highlighted this year’s classes. Bedford’s Sam Ashooh, 15, was selected on the basis of a masterful essay to receive the first Jim Hirni Scholarship Award. The scholarship, valued at $1,100, is offered by Hirni, a Hollis beekeeper fighting cancer. Ashooh won two beehives and a voucher for a supply of honeybees, apparel and equipment.

Ashooh said he is concerned for the future of the honeybee. Numerous studies note dangers from lawn chemicals and sprays that poison ticks, mosquitoes and garden pests.

"I know the population is declining," Ashooh said.

"I wanted to learn how to help the bees survive and thrive."

Bee school organizers John Hamblet, the club’s vice president, and beekeeper Louisa Varnum, both of Lowell, Mass., along with several other experts, taught the classes. Newcomers learned how to establish a hive, a set of wooden boxes containing rectangular frames designed to support beeswax honeycomb. The six-sided comb cells hold honey, pollen, water and bee eggs. A queen bee, tended by thousands of female workers, can lay more than 1,500 eggs in a day.

The teachers at bee school said much can be done to help honeybees and other pollinators, including native bees and bumblebees. It is the cross-pollination of pollen grains from one blossom to another that fertilizes flowers, fruit, vegetables, nuts and wild plants of the fields and forests.

Some crops, including rice, wheat and corn, are wind pollinated, but it is honeybees that make American mealtime a well-rounded pleasure.

Bee helpers can sow seeds and grow meadows instead of lawns that need cutting and chemicals. Plant patches of wildflowers. Explore natural means of pest control – suggestions online are abundant.

Teach children to use their indoor voices outdoors when observing bees. Appreciation may soon overcome fear.

The MVBA meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month at the Hudson Recreation building on Oakwood Street.

For more information, visit mvbee.org or call 759-6300.

Hive Minds

Diplomas and congratulations went to 130 students completing this year’s bee school, a set of six weekly classes hosted by the Merrimack Valley Beekeeper’s Association.

The classes began Tuesday evening, March 1, at St. James United Methodist Church in Merrimack.

The MVBA, one of eight beekeeper clubs in the state, has members who enjoy learning about beekeeping and promoting the well-being of honeybees.

An innovation highlighted this year’s classes. Bedford’s Sam Ashooh, 15, was selected on the basis of a masterful essay to receive the first Jim Hirni Scholarship Award. The scholarship, valued at $1,100, is offered by Hirni, a Hollis beekeeper fighting cancer. Ashooh won two beehives and a voucher for a supply of honeybees, apparel and equipment.

Ashooh said he is concerned for the future of the honeybee. Numerous studies note dangers from lawn chemicals and sprays that poison ticks, mosquitoes and garden pests.

"I know the population is declining," Ashooh said.

"I wanted to learn how to help the bees survive and thrive."

Bee school organizers John Hamblet, the club’s vice president, and beekeeper Louisa Varnum, both of Lowell, Mass., along with several other experts, taught the classes. Newcomers learned how to establish a hive, a set of wooden boxes containing rectangular frames designed to support beeswax honeycomb. The six-sided comb cells hold honey, pollen, water and bee eggs. A queen bee, tended by thousands of female workers, can lay more than 1,500 eggs in a day.

The teachers at bee school said much can be done to help honeybees and other pollinators, including native bees and bumblebees. It is the cross-pollination of pollen grains from one blossom to another that fertilizes flowers, fruit, vegetables, nuts and wild plants of the fields and forests.

Some crops, including rice, wheat and corn, are wind pollinated, but it is honeybees that make American mealtime a well-rounded pleasure.

Bee helpers can sow seeds and grow meadows instead of lawns that need cutting and chemicals. Plant patches of wildflowers. Explore natural means of pest control – suggestions online are abundant.

Teach children to use their indoor voices outdoors when observing bees. Appreciation may soon overcome fear.

The MVBA meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month at the Hudson Recreation building on Oakwood Street.

For more information, visit mvbee.org or call 759-6300.

Hive Minds

Diplomas and congratulations went to 130 students completing this year’s bee school, a set of six weekly classes hosted by the Merrimack Valley Beekeeper’s Association.

The classes began Tuesday evening, March 1, at St. James United Methodist Church in Merrimack.

The MVBA, one of eight beekeeper clubs in the state, has members who enjoy learning about beekeeping and promoting the well-being of honeybees.

An innovation highlighted this year’s classes. Bedford’s Sam Ashooh, 15, was selected on the basis of a masterful essay to receive the first Jim Hirni Scholarship Award. The scholarship, valued at $1,100, is offered by Hirni, a Hollis beekeeper fighting cancer. Ashooh won two beehives and a voucher for a supply of honeybees, apparel and equipment.

Ashooh said he is concerned for the future of the honeybee. Numerous studies note dangers from lawn chemicals and sprays that poison ticks, mosquitoes and garden pests.

"I know the population is declining," Ashooh said.

"I wanted to learn how to help the bees survive and thrive."

Bee school organizers John Hamblet, the club’s vice president, and beekeeper Louisa Varnum, both of Lowell, Mass., along with several other experts, taught the classes. Newcomers learned how to establish a hive, a set of wooden boxes containing rectangular frames designed to support beeswax honeycomb. The six-sided comb cells hold honey, pollen, water and bee eggs. A queen bee, tended by thousands of female workers, can lay more than 1,500 eggs in a day.

The teachers at bee school said much can be done to help honeybees and other pollinators, including native bees and bumblebees. It is the cross-pollination of pollen grains from one blossom to another that fertilizes flowers, fruit, vegetables, nuts and wild plants of the fields and forests.

Some crops, including rice, wheat and corn, are wind pollinated, but it is honeybees that make American mealtime a well-rounded pleasure.

Bee helpers can sow seeds and grow meadows instead of lawns that need cutting and chemicals. Plant patches of wildflowers. Explore natural means of pest control – suggestions online are abundant.

Teach children to use their indoor voices outdoors when observing bees. Appreciation may soon overcome fear.

The MVBA meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month at the Hudson Recreation building on Oakwood Street.

For more information, visit mvbee.org or call 759-6300.