New beehive at Brooke Elementary is all the buzzzzz

Austin

Chickens, rabbits and a butterfly garden. They’re just some of the fun things you’ll find at Brooke Elementary School thanks to a principal who grew up on a farm.

She wants to bring those same agricultural and outdoor experiences to her students in east Austin.

The campus also just added a second beehive to their Bee Corral which sits inside a colorfully painted fence built by the principal and her husband.

A day with the bees starts with students suiting up and getting the bee smokers ready.

“I’m smoking it so we can keep the fire going,” said Carina Vasquez, a fourth grader who has been working with the bees for more than a year.

The work has become second nature for her and several of her classmates.

“They get to do something that nobody else does,” said Sam DeSanto, the school’s bee facilitator. “Quite a few of our students, you know, they live in apartments so they depend upon our school and our campus as a lot of their outdoor experience.”

Adding a second hive means there’s a lot more for students to see and learn. They have quickly picked up on the fact the bees have to work together. 

“A lot of the girls think that’s fun because the worker bees, the ones who make the honey the ones who go out… they’re all girls,” said DeSanto. “And it’s the guys who stay home and take care of the house.”

Students also harvest the honey and will be selling it at their campus farmer’s market in May. Grant money helped get the bee program off the ground last year. 

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