Summer is synonymous with camp.
These days, parents and kids have countless camp opportunities from which to choose—from church camps to sports camps and even art camps. But for the last week, kids have gathered on Trevecca’s campus for a slightly different kind of camp.
Hosted and coordinated by officials from the Trevecca Urban Farm team, Bee Camp is designed to teach Nashville’s youth about beekeeping. This is the first year for the camp, held July 18-22 on Trevecca’s campus. Twelve campers in grades 5-9, participated in the camp.
Last fall, the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County Community Garden Grant Program awarded the Trevecca Urban Farm a $5,000 grant, designed for school or community garden projects that benefit children or seniors. The grant was used to expand the number of bee hives on the campus farm and to fund an on-campus bee camp.
According to the Urban Farm team, the main objective of the camp is to raise up new bee keepers who want to care for the threatened bee population in the United States.
“The end goal of camp is to give them an understanding of how important bees our to our food, for us to be able to eat,” said Karen Shaw, Trevecca Urban Farm coordinator. ”We want to encourage them to become bee keepers.”
The team calls themselves advocates for the bees and hopes to introduce the kids at bee camp to these creatures.
"Local youth that came to farm camps in the past got especially excited about the bees,” said Jason Adkins, environment projects coordinator and director of the Urban Farm, explaining how the idea for the camp developed. “So, when a great opportunity from Metro Parks became available, we thought it would be a great opportunity to offer an entire camp about bees.”
The money from the metro government was used to purchase safety gear and equipment for the camp. During the week, local beekeepers as well as Gene Armstrong, president of the Nashville Area Beekeeping Association, have been coming to the farm to speak to campers about introductory beekeeping, bee health, and bee society.
Jonas Tickle, a camper, says he has learned a lot about the bees while participating in the camp this week.
“I learned that if you see fresh eggs [in the hive], then you know the queen has been there in the last three days,” said Tickle.
Campers have been working in the hives every day during the camp and will be extracting honey on Friday. All campers wear full protective gear while working in the hives.