We have many initiatives throughout our school that shine a spotlight on our collective responsibility to give back to the environment and teach us about the life systems that sustain us. Two of these initiatives are our honeybee colony habitat and our maple syrup program.
Struggling honeybee populations in the wild are a well-known concern, one that’s attributed to increasing disease and pesticide exposure and the diminishing access to a variety of pollens in rural communities. Given that about one-third of what we eat relies on honeybee pollination, humans and honeybees are interdependent. We are proud to have taken action by providing a safe habitat for a colony of these incredibly important members of our local ecosystems. Our 80,000 honeybees that call HTS their home survived the recent cold winter months. Some of our Grade 4 students helped to open up the hive and complete the maintenance tasks including cleaning up the hive and treating it with an antibiotic to prevent and protect the honeybees from mites which weaken them. The honeybees were also fed some sugar water to bridge the gap between now and when the flowers start blooming. The Queen bee will begin laying eggs to repopulate the colony in the next few weeks. The colony provided our community with 100 jars of delicious honey last fall, right before we wrapped them up for the winter. With spring upon us, they are ready to start the process again.
One of last year's Grade 5 intelligent giving project groups started a maple syrup program here on campus. Now in Grade 6, the same group wanted to continue the program and have been collecting sap every day since our return from March Break. We have been steadily boiling down the sap into delicious maple syrup and will have a booth set up outside of the Dining Hall during Earth Week to taste test our latest version of liquid gold!
HTS is celebrating Earth Week from Monday, April 15, to Thursday, April 18, 2019. Students and staff will participate in a campus clean-up, an hour with no power, presentation of our waste audit analysis, a battery drive, an e-waste collection drive and a carpool day. Our Senior School Ecoteam students will mentor Lower School students by running a series of workshops including tree planting, vermicomposting, planting flowers, making seed balls, building solar cars and habitat boxes, making an edible landfill and doing nature art. Students and staff will also participate in a Sharing Day where all funds raised will be donated to Friends of the Rouge to buy trees for our forest and wildflowers for our new pollinator gardens that will support the health and wellness of our honeybees.