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FFA makes honey on school grounds

Pollination project reaps sweet rewards

Sydney+Theobald%2C+Amber+Pashley%2C+and+Jonas+Selk+display+the+honey+that+they+and+their+club+members+processed.
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FFA makes honey on school grounds

Sydney Theobald, Amber Pashley, and Jonas Selk display the honey that they and their club members processed.

Sydney Theobald, Amber Pashley, and Jonas Selk display the honey that they and their club members processed.

Photo Credit: Alyssa De Fere

Sydney Theobald, Amber Pashley, and Jonas Selk display the honey that they and their club members processed.

Photo Credit: Alyssa De Fere

Photo Credit: Alyssa De Fere

Sydney Theobald, Amber Pashley, and Jonas Selk display the honey that they and their club members processed.

Alyssa De Fere, Staff Writer

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In addition to a wide variety of agriculture experiences FFA members already engage in, they can now experience what it’s like to be a beekeeper.  Mr. Bruce Brunner, FFA advisor and agriculture teacher, worked with former SFHS student Phil Wimmler to begin a small apiary on school grounds.

“Phil was nice enough to actually come in and tell us what to do and show us how to do it,” Brunner said.

The idea for setting up hives came from the need to increase local pollinators for the hoop house.

“If we don’t have pollinators, then obviously the production in yields goes down in our products.  So the bee project gives kids the opportunity to see what can actually happen,” Brunner said.

Once there was honey to harvest, students helped filter and bottle the honey. “It’s really a hands-on project that kids consider a sweet deal,” Brunner said.

“We’re hoping that as time goes on, this can be a continuous project and that once kids graduate, a new kid can come in and start working on the stuff.  Hopefully it will keep perpetuating, so that we can get more kids involved,” Brunner said.

Junior Andrew Pashley, an FFA member, says he enjoys working with bees.  “Beekeeping is an enjoyable hobby.  It is cheap and inexpensive to set up your hives.  Bees are very self dependent and seldom need human interference, except during winter to make sure food is still available, or just you’re just curious to see how they are doing,” Pashley said.  “The best part is being able to produce a very healthy product that is very tasty.”

Not only is this honey tasty and locally made, it is also beneficial to Sheboygan Falls community members with allergies.  “The nice thing about this honey is that if you are within a 25 mile radius of where the honey is actually produced, it helps with allergies,” Brunner said.

Brunner spoke about the particular challenges he and students face. “It’s like any other project where you deal with animals.  You have to worry about the weather, make sure that the bees are fed.  Because obviously in the winter there isn’t really much for them to feed off of.  Just knowing some of the intricacies of bees is pretty fascinating when you get really into it, how they make their honey, and they have to keep their hive about 92 degrees.  All of those kinds of things make it a challenge, but that’s agriculture.”

The FFA honey is available for purchase for $8 for a 1 pound bottle.  See Bruce Brunner or an FFA member to get a bottle.

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FFA makes honey on school grounds