One of the most exciting parts of the PEP STEM program is the Bee colony that we have a PEP. This program consists of an active hive that is totally enclosed in a glass housing that is kept within the PEP building. The bees enter and egress thru a small pipe that is fed thru the outside wall of the building. This ensures that no bees can enter the building while providing our members the opportunity to view a living beehive. The PEP “bee yard” is 100% safe for members and also 100% safe for the bees. The program consists of instruction for the members by a certified beekeeper as well as demonstrations of exactly what happens in a beehive and how the bees interact to keep the hive productive.
Our members have daily responsibilities that are necessary to keep the colony healthy and productive. The bees that we have in the colony are honey bees in the genus Apis. In addition to education and teaching daily responsibilities, we will collect honey and other products that the hive produces (including beeswax, propolis, flower pollen, bee pollen, and royal jelly). The members are actively involved in collecting jarring, labeling, and selling the honey and beeswax for lip balm.
We are very proud of the bee yard at PEP and believe it is very educational for our members and also one of the only ones in this type of facility.