THEODORE, Ala. (WKRG) – Bees have always had an important role in nature when springtime rolls around.

Evonik Chemical Company in Mobile County saw this as an opportunity to start a special project involving bees and beehives. The chemical plant has partnered with Hollinger’s Island Elementary school, hoping to provide an educational lesson for the younger generation.

“The goal behind the beehives is to promote STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics,” Mark Smith, the Environmental Health, Safety, and Security Manager at Evonik said. “We want to get back to the school and promote those opportunities for the school children.”

Over 40 beehives are being built for this special project just in time for the spring season. Evonik has partnered with a local farmer to place the hives on a section of land nearby. The bees will be kept and maintained by an Evonik employee, who is also a beekeeper. 

Students sat down for a brief presentation from Troy Latham, a Master Beekeeper and resource teacher from the Environmental Studies Center. He’s teaching kids all about the importance of bees and pollination through the Pollination Program. He hopes his message helps bring awareness to the natural world.  

“We know that social media and technology are important…we want kids to understand that there is a lot going on in the world,” Troy said. “We have to have pollinators. We have to take care of everything that’s around us.” 

And what better way to get these kids involved than with a hands-on experience. “They’re going to help us construct and build the hives,” Smith said. The kids even got to add the final touches by using paint, brushes, stamps and stencils to decorate the hives. Great fun while also learning a great lesson.

Smith says that this is a two phase, long term project. Phase one is introducing the kids to the science behind the bees and setting up the hives, while phase two will transpire sometime next year, when they plan to harvest the honey from the bees. Evonik plans to have cameras around the hives, and the beekeeper will wear a GoPro while harvesting the material. This will provide another way for the kids to see and learn from this experience.