Earlier this year, Planet Bee was lucky enough to have the help of two brilliant high school seniors from Irvington High School of Fremont, California: Michael Cao and Hesham Rabbani. These two chose to work with Planet Bee in conjunction with a school project on pesticides. They volunteered with us at Discovery Day at AT&T Park and the California Academy of Sciences, and conducted an interview with their high school peers to determine general awareness and concern regarding the bee crisis. Want to hear about the experience from their own lips? Read on!
What made you want to work with Planet Bee?
We chose to work with Planet Bee in accordance with a project we executed. My personal reason to reach out to this organization was their mission statement. We found what Planet Bee was doing to be interesting and beneficial to the environment. My project consists of a topic and a question. It is about investigating the decline of honey bees due to pesticides and finding a solution for the problem. Even though it was an assignment, we chose the topic of bees to be included in my project because of their importance in the world. I have seen on the news and personally researched that we need bees for one third of the food we eat. “Bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide and approximately 400 different agricultural types of plant” (Jessica Tucker).
What did you learn from your experience with Planet Bee?
At Planet Bee, we learned that there are people who care about the environment and work hard to educate people and try to make a change. It is important for our world to understand that there are matters which cannot be avoided. We decided to work with Planet Bee at large scientific events in the AT&T Park in San Francisco and at the California Academy of sciences. There, we communicated with people in order to teach them about the importance of bees and how Planet Bee is helping their situation.
Planet Bee has provided us with many new experiences and opportunities to succeed. Observing professionals doing what they love and promoting their organization is a wonderful thing to see. We have faith that we can learn to do the same if we are put in similar situations once we join the workforce. Personally, we felt like the experience we had at the science festival was something new and exciting, something that made us step out of our comfort zone. The information we were provided during the interview with two of the staff really helped jumpstart our research into the right directions.
What are you doing to help save the bees?
In order to support the bees and take initiative, we are using locally produced honey and organic foods produced by bees in order to promote their existence. We have also planted poppy flowers in our backyards in order to provide sustenance for the bees.
Interview with high school students
Why do we need bees?
- 60% say for honey and pollination.
- 10% say just for pollinating.
- 30% say for fruits and other food.
What is currently happening with the bees?
- 20% say “I don’t know.”
- 40% say they are decreasing because of diseases and disorders.
- 40% say because of pesticides.
Do you know what Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) is?
- 50% say no.
- 40% have heard of it but do not know what it is.
- 10% say yes.
What causes CCD?
- 90% infer that it is caused by humans.
- 10% say natural causes of some sort.
Do you want to make a difference?
- 40% say no.
- 60% say yes because of how important bees are to the human food supply.
We are so grateful for students like Michael and Hesham, who take the initiative to learn more about the bee crisis and spread their knowledge among their peers. We hope to reach thousands more students in the years to come, increasing general awareness of the essential role bees play in our ecosystems and our lives. But we can't do it all on our own! Ask yourself- what can I do today to help save the bees? And healthy hives worldwide will thank you!
Written by Ayla Fudala
Planet Bee Educator and Staff Writer
Guest Writers Michael Cao and Hesham Rabbani