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Long Beach Beekeepers

Big Bee Science at Westminster High School

  • 13 Jul 2022 7:41 PM
    Message # 12848164
    Jacob Dickinson (Administrator)

    Did you know Westminster High School, just a few miles from Long Beach, has a Future Farmers of America chapter? It does! And did you know they have hives, and 60,000 bees? They do! (Or at least they did in late April. I’ll bet there are a few more by now.) This supports "California’s first high school beekeeping program." 

    But here’s the kicker: A team of students from Westminster High’s STEM program were "Determined to find a way to prevent the number of honey producing bee colonies from continuing to decline” and "devised a plan to create a probiotic in powder form to strengthen bees against insecticides that are harmful to their nervous system.” How? The students "figured out they could use genetic engineering, gene editing and freeze-drying methods to create neonicotinoid-degrading microbiome bacteria. The students tested the probiotic on the school’s own bee colony, applying the powder over a controlled set of boxed hives.

    I don’t know about you, but I went to a decent high school, and no one did work like this! (Of course the technology hadn’t been invented yet, either.)

    But wait, there’s more! The team entered their project in a national competition and placed second! I am proud to have neighbors like this.

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