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'If You Build It, They Will Buzz:' New Rochelle Students Craft Bee Habitats

Second-graders at Columbus Elementary School planting daffodils in New Rochelle.
Second-graders at Columbus Elementary School planting daffodils in New Rochelle. Photo Credit: Contributed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - Several New Rochelle elementary school students are working together to create a mini ecosystem they hope will prove to be the “bee’s knees.”

Second graders at Columbus Elementary School helped assemble the first of five outdoor garden beds that will be interconnected to create an environment where colorful flowers will grow, creating a habitat fit for bees, butterflies and birds on the campus grounds.

Columbus School’s science coordinator Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn said that students have planted daffodil bulbs in the first 2.5-foot by 6-foot garden bed and they are now in the process of determining and predicting when the plants will sprout, bloom and die off, though she said the real attraction for the bees “will be the perennials the students will plant in the other four beds come spring.”

The garden came about through a $1,000 Feed a Bee grant from Bayer.

“The goal is to learn about life cycles and about how plants and animals interact," Barrett-Zahn added. "They'll do that by observing plant growth to learn about their life cycles and the role that bees and other pollinators play in plant reproduction - and in the creation of our food."

“I love planting flowers, because they give a good scent and that attracts the bees," second-grader Kaily Chavez added. "It's important for the bees because that's their food."

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