Save the Bees Club prepares for a new addition on campus

Arrival of the new nest hive delayed due to COVID-19 and school closure

Members of the Save the Bees Club plant drought-resistant plants in early March to continue the club’s project.

The Save the Bees Club recently worked to prepare a space outside of the G building for the addition of Oak Park High School’s first bee home, in an effort to save local bees.

Located outside of English teachers Caitlin Fowler and Kathleen Leggett’s classrooms, the new home, different from a beehive, will not have a queen but instead will be a location for solitary bees. Not long ago, the club planted drought-resistant plants and cleaned up the area to prepare for the installation of the new home.

“We specifically chose native plants in order to promote the attraction of native bees,” junior and co-founder of the club Daniel Conway said.

The goal of the new bee home is to bring bees to help pollinate the area and to help their population thrive in Oak Park. The location of the home also encourages the bees to multiply in the open hillside across from it.

“[There are] numerous species of bees that are native to the Santa Monica Mountains and surrounding areas. Without the ability to pollinate the native plants, the bees go elsewhere,” club supervisor and Director of Curriculum Jay Greenlinger said.

Not only will Mason bees brought in by the club benefit from this addition, but the club hopes that native bees will also make a home out of this new structure.

The Save the Bees club has prepared for the bee home for some time now and has looked forward to the new addition on campus.

In March, Conway reported, “[The new bee home] should have been shipped out by March, so [it will] hopefully [come] sometime this month.”

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the shipment has been delayed until whenever the company is able to send the new structure. Other occasions to help prepare for the addition of the bee home have been canceled or postponed as well.

The club wants to make sure that students don’t need to be concerned about having bees close to their classrooms. According to Greenlinger, Mason bees are relatively harmless.

“We chose a species that would have a minimal impact on students, and wanted to draw species that are not likely to sting or cause an allergic reaction,” Greenlinger said.

The club also planned the location of the bee home away from busy areas of campus, to not disturb the bees or students.

“[We’re] hoping to promote the idea that native bees are safe, good for the environment and people shouldn’t be afraid of them,” Conway said.