Whole Foods Awards MCS Farm Honey Bee Grant
The Manhattan Country School Farm was recently awarded a monetary grant from the Whole Kids Foundation. This non-profit foundation was founded by Whole Foods Market with the mission:
"We support schools and inspire families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness. Given the right opportunities, kids will get excited about fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritious whole foods."
Stephanie Pilla, an MCS Advancement staff member and current parent, worked with MCS Farm Director John McDaniel to apply for and secure the $1,500 “Honey Bee Grant.” The Whole Kids Foundation describes the Bee Cause Project mission as youth "opportunities to understand, engage, and learn from honey bees in order to connect with the natural environment while developing STEAM skills."
This generous grant will enable the MCS Farm to expand our current apiary of two hives to three and purchase additional beekeeping equipment. In addition to a third hive, the $1,500 will be enough to purchase additional bee suits for both children and adults, an electric “uncapping” knife to aid in honey extraction and several other tools to expand our students experience in raising honey bees. MCS students focus on bees during Nature Studies where they begin their investigation and discussion of the year-long topic of honey bee hive collapse. Students support the Farm’s own honey bee colony through the pollinator garden where there are a variety of self-seeding wildflowers, perennial flowers, and herbs in the lower garden.
This year, we extracted twelve pounds of honey from our two hives. This amount is close to a year supply used at the Farm. As our honey bee program grows, we hope that both our school communities' knowledge of this vital creature grows and our honey harvest blossoms.