On travels to the island of St. John, USVI, I met a beekeeper named Wayne, who sells honey produced by his "Coral Bay Bees." Wayne was an easy guy to talk to, and so we chatted for quite a while about bees, travel, the environment, and life in general. Wayne's 16 bee colonies are scattered about the small and arid tropical island, and although he has not seen losses attributable to Colony Collapse Disorder, he was quick to give me his perspectives on the dangers of pesticides used on his island.
The bee pictured to the right was the first of many that we spotted foraging for nectar on St. John. Although the USVI is fairly arid and often humid, temperatures are mild year-round and there is a seemingly constant supply of flowering plants. This small cactus was just steps away from a busy outdoor restaurant. Both people and bees seemed content to go about their business without notice of one another.
We decided to take the bee equipment on the road to share a busy and fun-filled day with over a hundred Kindergarten and 2nd Grade students at Mariano Azuela Elementary School in Chicago. The students were fantastic and it was especially rewarding to participate in two bilingual classrooms. Highlights included our conversations with kindergartners about how people and bees communicate, and our extended visit with Ms. Cather's students. A special thank you to Ms. Cather, who aside from being an amazing educator has been a huge supporter and contributor since the very beginning.