A School Buzzing with Excitement

Trinity Yard School Bee Day

We just finished our big bee day at Trinity Yard School in Cape Three Points, Ghana. We started working with the students at 8:30am and worked all day until 4:30pm.

To be quite honest, I was very nervous about how the class was going to go, but by 9:00am my fears had quickly subsided as I could see just how excited the children were to learn about the bees.

We structured the day so the students were not just learning about beekeeping, but were also in teams building business models and learning about entrepreneurship throughout the day. At the end of the school day each group presented their businesses in a competition and the top 3 teams took home a certificate and small prize.

Building Their Beesness

At the beginning of the day the students broke up into teams and we spoke about entrepreneurship, what skills entrepreneurs possess, and how in their community beekeeping could provide a sustainable source of income for their families.

After learning about the life cycle of a honey bee, pollination, bee equipment and bee communication, the teams came up with a name for their businesses. The names each of the teams chose were:

  1. Trinity Yard School Honey
  2. Beelove
  3. Honey water
  4. Bees Brothers and Sisters
  5. Honey Queendom

Waggle Dance Pollinator Activity

After picking their business names each team worked with their team leader to learn where the “floral” source was. Team leaders went out into the yard of the school where their team names were hidden in trees and bushes. When the teachers found their “floral source” they ran back to the classroom to get their group and waggle danced in the yard to explain where their flower was. This was by far one of the highlights of the day for the students, teachers, and everyone involved for it was filled with smiles, laughter, and joy.

When we came back inside the students then learned about Top Bar Hives, honey flows in their region of Ghana, honey extraction and hive building.

Art, Creativity, and Branding

With a business name in place, the next activity was for the students to work together to create their logos. Out on the tables for display we had various Burt’s Bees and Bee Downtown products out for the students to see different logos and gain some inspiration. The logos the students made were filled with pictures of bees with black Ghanaian stars on the backs to logos with the famous palm trees of Cape Three Points.

Once logos were created and presented we talked as a group about swarms, hive splits, and how bees could help the local farms in the village through pollination. For break we had lunch together and set out across the school’s property to look at a potential site for beehives followed by a quick volleyball tournament!

Products and Pitches

 When volleyball was over we came back for a session on how to make candles made with Neem oil (Neem oil is a natural mosquito repellant from a tree in Ghana) and Jojoba oil/Peppermint lip balm.

While half of the students were making their product, the second half of the students were inside working with their team leader on their business plan and presentations for the judges. The two groups then switched to make product and finish their business plans. Once everyone had their product made and presentations it was time to present!

The questions they answered before the judges (along with some of our favorite answers) were:

  1. What is the name of your company?
  • Beelove: because the bees are a family like we are and work together as one.
  1. Why do you want to keep bees?
  • To make money in our village and because we care about nature and providing food for our families.
  1. Where would you sell your products and what makes your business special?
  • We will sell honey and products in our village and villages near by. There is not enough honey for people so we know we could see it. We are also a group of students so people will want to buy from us.
  1. How would your team’s talents help your business?
  • Edith talks a lot so she would sell the honey for us
  • Rita is a good cook so she can make and create products from the wax
  • Evans is good at riding his bike fast so he could transport the honey to the markets
  • Desmond likes writing so he would do the social media for our company.

Next Steps

Today was a great day and after spending so much time with the kids it was evident how having even just 10 honey producing hives could create twice the amount of income most families make in a year. With such great feedback and excitement from the students we will begin preparing to bring Master Beekeeper Aidoo from Salt Pond, Ghana to Trinity Yard School to begin teaching a class later this year.

 

 

*Stay tuned for our next blog post that talks about our class and conversation with 7 women from the Cape Three Points community that want to be part of the female-led beekeeping program in the village!