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Bees are buzzing to Grand Coteau

May 07, 2018 02:45PM ● By Staff Writer

Things are buzzing at Berchmans Academy in Grand Coteau, and we mean literally!  The 5th - 7th grade students at Berchmans Academy welcomed two donated beehives to their campus. The Louisiana Beekeepers Association and Ducky’s Apiary each donated a hive with a colony of bees. Berchmans Academy is the first school in the Acadiana area to begin such a classroom program. This is all part of a pilot beekeeping project program from The Louisiana Association of Sport, Outdoor Adventure, and Recreation (LASOAR) and a pilot program from Berchmans as well.

Through grants from Whole Kids Foundation and Bee Cause Project and the help of many others including Laura Palmer, CEO of LASOAR and Matthew Robidoux of Ducky’s Apiary, the bees have arrived. Robidoux stated, “Our company likes to educate to squash the misconceptions and illogical fears people have of bees. The best way to do that is to educate before the thoughts can really mature, so we love working and interacting with students and teaching them about bees and how important they are to the world. So we are looking forward to continuing to work with the students at Berchmans.”

Valerie Nehrbass, Berchmans' science teacher, explains, “We are so grateful to everyone who helped make this possible for our students. The bees will be a wonderful resource for our 5-7th grade students and we hope that the project will grow to include the entire student body. Not only will we learn about the intricacies of the bee colony, but we will also be able to observe the bees in action. This will give us a better understanding of the importance of pollinators as well as the valuable role they play in sustainable agriculture."

When your campus is located on 250 acres, you are no stranger to the importance of environmental stewardship. The students at Berchmans utilize their surroundings daily with hands-on learning that includes a garden project and the Coastal Roots project. Prep students recently germinated 250 vegetable and flower plants from seed with the goal of using the vegetables in the school dining hall. The Coastal Roots program, in partnership with LSU, includes growing trees that are planted along the Louisiana coast in an effort to preserve the coastline. The nuttall and cherrybark oak trees that 5th grade is germinating will be planted at Avery Island.

The arrival of the bees gives Berchmans students another outdoor classroom in an already abundant classroom campus.  

To learn more about Berchmans Academy in Grand Coteau visit