DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - A typical look inside a school library would show kids standing in line to check out a book that will take their imagination on a journey. However, schools are attempting to lure kids into learning by throwing something interesting in their path.
"We already get the kids to come in here for reading. I wanted to get them to come in here for lessons on science and math. You can incorporate the bee into just about any subject," says Live Oak Middle School Librarian Amanda Jones.
For Jones, that incorporation started with an indoor observational beehive. She says her friend and current Denham Springs Junior High School Librarian, Laura Foy encouraged her to bring the beehive to the school. After a year of research, a grant from The Bee Cause Project and the Whole Kids Foundation funded the program. The beehive was installed about 7 weeks ago in the school library. The bees were donated by a colleague's son who is a beekeeper, Michael Hanegan.
In honor of her friend's challenge, Jones named the hive, The Laura 'Bee' Foy Observational Beehive.
"When we started it was about 1/4 of that size and the queen has been laying eggs," Jones explains. "It's quadrupled in size."
LOM students can now check out a book on bees and study them as they create a natural resource in the observational hive.
"I was like whoa, they have bees here," says third-grader Ellie Ridgell with a smile.
On Friday several classes of students visiting the library were given the assignment to answer questions about the bees and observe them. Fifth-grader, Evan Staton says he's excited to learn, "How fast they build hives and how hard it is for them to build it."
Jones explains to students that the bees will, "Fly out, miles around and collect pollen. They know instinctively to come back through the pipe right back into the hive."
Third-grader, Ellie Ridgell, sort of has a jump start on bee knowledge, "My parents started keeping bees maybe 3 or 4 years ago," she says.
Ridgell pauses in between finishing up her assignment to pass along quick facts she's learned as an up and coming beekeeper, "The honey that they make is not man-made," Ridgell explains. "It's made by nature. That's super cool to me because everything I know in my world is made by man and it's kind of getting annoying."
Jones says she wants the students to understand the library is more than just shelves of books, it's a pathway to the world and maybe the world of contemporary music.
"We have a queen bee, Jones says. "She likes to hide but her name is Beeyonce."
Jones says students will be learning about bees throughout the year. She says teachers will incorporate bees into science and math lessons. Donations to buy additional books featuring bees were gathered using a Donor's Choose Project.
Jones says over 20 community members contributed