Nathan Sheets has been living in the land of milk and honey since 2010. Now, he and his company Nature Nate’s Honey Co. want to share the sweetness with young students—and show them how to keep the liquid gold flowing.
This McKinney-based honey company worked with five educators to create its “Long Live The Bees” lesson plan. The team hopes that teachers and other educators will use these tools to show kids how they can keep the bees buzzing.
Keeping honey bees healthy
The educational program has five parts to it. Some of the topics include how bees communicate with one another, why they need a hive, and what makes honey have different flavors. But the most important component is about what people can do to keep bees buzzing.
“It’s our hope that … kids will be excited about protecting bee populations and have a greater appreciation for all the ways bees help us live healthy, happy lives,” Sheets said in a statement.
Although this is its first venture into elementary education materials, Nature Nate’s is no stranger to the classroom. They conduct bee health research at four different universities—Cornell, University of Georgia, Texas A&M, and UT Dallas. Through a company and university partnership, Nature Nate’s helped UTD create an eight acre “no mow zone.” As the local plants flourished, it became a pollinator’s paradise.
The big picture
Lesson plans are only part of Nature Nate’s “Long Live the Bees” initiative. It was launched to start a conversation for people to know how the pollinators are essential to the world’s ecosystem—and be aware of their times of trouble.
The National Agriculture Statistics Service reported that between 1947 and 2008, beehives decreased from 6 million hives to 2.4 million. Along with that 60 percent decrease, Nature Nate’s website states that honey production has declined by nearly 50 percent in the last 20 years.
In order to try and turn these trends around, their initiative focuses on a show and tell of sustainable choices. Nature Nate’s only partners with responsible beekeepers, uses recyclable and BPA-free bottles, and has biodegradable labels. They also provide an e-book for additional educational materials.
The initiative even has its own hashtag for people to add their bee thoughts to the social media buzz with #longlivethebees.
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