Longview ISD maintains beehives to pollinate garden

East Texas News at 6.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 2:13 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2022 at 8:14 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The Longview Independent School District has bees, but they’re not a problem at all. And they are actually indirectly helping to feed LISD students.

Anyone who visits the Longview ISD Garden is notified as they walk through the gate: Beeware of Honeybees. LISD Child Nutrition Director Phyllis Dozier says the district understands the buzz about bees.

“We want to preserve and make sure that there are bees forever because without bees we would have nothing. We wouldn’t have flowers, we wouldn’t have the food,” Dozier said.

And Dozier says the garden needed the bees.

“We started out doing the garden without the bees and we were not having very good luck. And so, we got the bees and the bee houses so that we could pollinate. And our garden is growing because of it,” Dozier said.

She says they’ve had the six bee houses for a couple years, but the beekeeper came on in March. She has supplied the bees with a rock filled pool since bees need water too. Summer school students have visited the hives.

“They’ve been able to find out how the garden works and what the bees do for the garden,” Dozier said.

Visiting students are asked to bee careful.

“So all students are who come out here have to check their peanut butter and honey sandwiches at the gate,” I said.

“Yes,” Dozier smiled,” No food out here.”

She says honeybees are attracted to food, especially if it’s sweet. LISD Superintendent James Wilcox says there are bigger plans for the hives.

“We’ll have a wall across the front for protection. And on that outside wall we’ll have an entrance to a beehive. And on the backside where our students come and look, they pull up a sleeve, and they can see the bees in there in the process of raising their replacement bees, as well as making honey,” Wilcox said.

So, the students are learning, and the garden is growing. And the hives are thriving, partly thanks to the beekeeper who I like to call the bee-bee sitter.

The beekeeper says if she sees that the bees are sick, she can give them antibiotics. She even feeds them and has planted some bee favorite flowers nearby to make sure they stick around.

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