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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Why Schools are Sweet on Honey Bees

As a growing number of schools embrace gardening, honey bees are generating the latest educational buzz.

The humble honey bee plays a huge role in our food supply. Experts estimate that one in every three bites of food you eat depends on pollination, either directly or indirectly.

“You can’t learn about growing fruits and vegetables without learning about bees,” says Jeff Miller, a beekeeper and educator at DC Honeybees in Washington, D.C. “Bees are as important to the process as sun and water.”

This coming year Whole Kids Foundation® will award its first round of approximately 50 hive grants for schools as part of the new Honey Bee Grant Program, a natural extension of the Whole Kids Foundation School Garden Grant Program.

Hundreds of schools have already expressed interest in hosting hives to enhance their gardens and to use as teaching tools. Despite their stingers, honey bees are actually docile creatures, and with a little education they can coexist in sweet harmony with kids in the garden.

With reports of bee populations declining, education about honey bees is more critical than ever. Tending to hives and observing bee activity provides kids with vital lessons about biology, agriculture, ecology, nutrition and even business. Bees do more than make honey. Pollination is also key to increasing the size of plants, fruits, flowers and overall crop yield.

To help support the Whole Kids Foundation Honey Bee Grant Program, visit the coffee bar at your local Whole Foods Market® between June 12-25 and order a Café con Miel (coffee with honey) latte. Whole Kids Foundation will receive 25 cents from every cup sold. That’s a sweet deal for you and schools, too!

Would you like to have a hive at your school? What do you think kids can learn from honey bees?

Tell us in the comments below for a chance to win a gift box that includes a “bee garden” seed packet from High Mowing Seeds, a Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Gardener’s Kit and one pound of Organic Allegro Coffee. Five winners will be randomly selected on June 24.

The fine print: No purchase necessary. Promotion ends June 23, 2013, 11:59 PM CDT. Must be a legal resident of the US or Canada (except in Quebec, where it is void) age 18 or older to participate. Taxes on prize, if applicable, are the responsibility of the winner. Employees of Whole Foods Market, Inc., are not eligible. Void where prohibited.