Editor’s note: This story was changed to refer to the school as Charles Carrol School 46.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After-school clubs come in all shapes and sizes, and at Charles Carrol School 46 one of their clubs has taken a unique shape, a hexagon. Led by Katie Besaw, a special education teacher at the school, she and 18 students have introduced some new students to School 46, specifically three hives of honey bees.
Besaw, a beekeeper during her time away from the classroom, came across her passion by chance back in 2014.
“A good friend of mine on Facebook just put out there does anybody want to come with me and I said yes. So I showed up and then 5 weeks later I was […] signing up for bees to be delivered to my house,” said Besaw.
Over the past two years, with the encouragement of her fellow faculty members, including the principal of the school Dr. Gina DiTullio. For her, the opportunity to introduce the children at her school to unique experiences is beyond important as they learn and grow as students.
“I’m just excited that we’re able to offer so many unique opportunities to our students. I think it’s really important that regardless of where our students live [that] they have opportunities to engage in enriching activities that help them grow and learn and really explore the world around them and their interests as well,” said Dr. DiTullio.
The students get the opportunity to get out of a normal classroom setting and work with their hands, while also seeing the fruits of their labor in the form of honey and beeswax that gets collected each year. In many cases too, the students have been able to conquer a common fear of bees and learn some valuable lessons that can translate into real life.
“I mean I’m not saying that you should like run up to a beehive [and] be like ‘oh what’s up man.’ But it’s like […] if you don’t mess with them they won’t mess with you,” said Julius, a sixth grader at RCSD School 46.
Besaw hopes to continue to expand the program and has a dream that one-day hives could be found all around RCSD.