Introducing Apiculture to FHS


provided by Cameron Morris

Examining the bees, ECO Club Vice President Cameron Morris prepares to place them in their new hives.

Buzz, buzz, buzzzz. That’s the sound of bees from ECO Club’s newly crafted bee hives. This year the club has found ways to benefit the community despite COVID-19. “Bees are vital for the preservation of balance in ecosystems, and without them, plants are not able to pollinate as effectively,” said ECO Club President Tino Martella.
Two years ago, ECO Club Vice President Cameron Morris came up with the idea to introduce apiculture, beekeeping, as an ECO Club project. “I wanted the opinions of my club members about the idea, and I also wanted their help bringing it to life,” said Morris.
Agriculture teacher Susan Hilleary, was instrumental in the club’s success. A long with finally receiving permission to start the project. “This year, is finally the year that all the bureaucracy and formalities have been cleared, so that we can finally actually set up the hives! It was such an amazing feeling, especially since everyone in ECO Club has been so excited about the project,” said Morris.
According to Martella, maintenance will be required, extending the project for a few years. The hives are located near the greenhouse in hopes to restore some of the bee population. Due to “‘Colony Collapse Disorder,’ bees are dying off at an alarming rate, so it’s important that humans try to preserve the bee population,” said Martella.
In previous years, ECO Club has run trash pick-ups and Earth Day celebrations, but could not continue this year due to COVID. Due to this inability, “we managed to get creative and come up with good ideas like focusing on our social media presence and holding Netflix movie nights through the app Netflix Party, where we watched environmental movies and documentaries together virtually,” said Biology teacher and ECO Club advisor Debbie Fisher. “We also had a virtual guest speaker meet with us.”
With about 11 or 12 active members, ECO Club was one of the many clubs that dealt with scheduling problems and member attendance throughout this year. They meet every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. through Google Meet to discuss ways in which to better the environment. They have also “brainstormed lots of very interesting projects that Eco Club members have been excited about, but sadly most were not allowed due to COVID restraints,” said Martella.
According to Martella, additional ECO Club projects will be held off until next year. “We will mainly have to focus on educating ourselves on environmental issues,” said Martella. He also encourages students to get involved in the club by “DMing on Instagram or stopping by Mrs. Fisher’s classroom,” said Martella. “We absolutely love having new members, and it is never too late to join and make a difference.”
Martella, along with the rest of ECO Club, is passionate about the environment. “I want my kids and grand kids to be able to have the same experiences I can have. I don’t want them to have to breathe in smog when they go outdoors, I want them to breathe in fresh air. I don’t want them to imagine what a blue sky looks like, I want them to be able to see one. And I don’t want them to think that I didn’t work to provide them with the healthiest planet I could,” said Martella.

ECO Club received their bees completing the hive project initiated by Vice President Cameron Morris.