To Save Honey Bees, Girl Scouts Get Hands Dirty
Research into the life of bees led three local scouts to beautify their school and support bee population.
When one local Girl Scout from Chatham Middle School learned how the declining bee population threatened more than the honey supply, she decided to do something about it.
"I was on the Haagen-Dazs website, and they were talking about how one-third of our food goes through the bee cycle," Rashida Haye said.
Haagen-Dazs is currently sponsoring a Bee Campaign, an effort whose aim is to reverse the population decline of the honey bees. From the website, Haye learned that bees pollinate over 100 crops in the US and are responsible for 80 percent of plant pollination, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and of course, flowers.
The cause for the decline in honey bees is unknown, but according to the Haagen-Dazs website, more than one in three US honey bee colonies has collapsed in the last three years.
Haye already knew baout the declining bee population. But this year, something was different. This year, she said, "I wanted to do something."
Haye approached two of her fellow Girl Scouts, Anna Zagoren and Shannon Rauter, and proposed a project which eventually turned into their Silver Award.
The project was to plant bee-attracting flowers around the sign for Chatham Middle School along Main Street.
Linda Chapman, the leader for Girl Scout Troop 157, did not respond to requests for comments, but Rauter said when Haye approached her and Zagoren, they agreed "it was a good idea by Rashida."
Together Rauter, Zagoren and Haye went to Coviello Bros. on Main Street in Madison. The nursery is owned by Chatham residents, including Peter Coviello. There, the girls found several varieties of honey bee-attracting flowers.
Haye, Rauter and Zagoren planted the flowers themselves in front of the Chatham Middle School sign along Main Street. Motorists on Main Street can see the flowers as they drive past.
The girls have taken turns watering the plants.