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Lockdown has enabled more inclusive teaching

Over the last twelve weeks, we are discovering that it wasn’t so bad in terms of our BEE You beekeeping delivery…. 

Teaching beekeeping online isn’t something you’d think would be possible as it is a very practical activity. We weren’t too sure, however, we have been successfully teaching beekeeping theory online throughout lockdown. This teaching will back up practical beekeeping training once we can go back to working in the apiary with the students. 

Our students usually come to us from around the Liverpool city region. However, as BEE You comes under the umbrella of “Our Bright Future”.A nationwide young person environmental movement which includes 31 projects headed up by The Wildlife Trust and funded by The Big Lottery. We have been able to reach out to young people throughout the country working with the Students from Belfast and some younger farmers in Scotland. Also, we are still engaging with our local schools and colleges and Liverpool University

Photography by Andrea Ku

One of the significant positive aspects we have discovered (via teachers from the schools and colleges we work with) is the fact that some of the more anxious or shy students who wouldn’t usually turn up for a full lesson have been signing in to all of our online Zoom beekeeping lessons. This has got to be a game-changer when it comes to beekeeping teaching or any teaching. 

"During the online Bee Keeping course, I noted a few of my ‘shyer’ and ‘more anxious’ students taking part, more so than they would do within the classroom setting. You could say that they favoured learning in the ‘online’ world, where they were in their own space and felt safer, interacting with classmates and tutors on their terms. The students in question were nervous about taking part at first, but after they had attended once, they attended each week consecutively, which is great for them, without further encouragement from myself. I strongly believe that these sessions have helped these students in questions, to grow their confidence within online teaching and confidence within themselves."

- A tutor from one of our college partners.

Moving forward we will be certainly using online delivery to enable us to engage with local students who are painfully shy and face other barriers to the classroom setting. But also to allow us to reach a much wider audience educating and training our young people about the importance of bees but also their incredibly fascinating nature. 

Photography by Andrea Ku

I am now teaching my second cohort of NHS key worker students and this is another example of being able to deliver something to those who want to learn about a subject they perhaps would not have had a chance to learn. I have found that a lot of the NHS staff are keen themselves to progress this learning and have thought about getting beehives at home. 

I’m proud to be a part of a team that has been able to make a change in people’s lives and hope for their local environment. if it means we can look after our local green spaces and nature. If we all do this together, neighbour to neighbour, community to community, we can create a healthier world for bees and people to live in harmony together.

Article and photography by Andrea Ku

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