’Adopt-a-hive’ scheme for schools

A leading Wales learning technology company, Aspire 2Be, is teaming up with Cardiff University to encourage school pupils to learn about the importance of bees and beekeeping.

Working with the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Bridged College, the Swansea-based firm has formed a sister company, Aspire2Bee, to help schools in Wales to adopt and care for honeybee hives.

The company aims to engage schools, businesses and individuals to adopt their very own hive (and beekeeper) as they grow and learn to build a natural, sustainable future.

Simon Pridham, Education and Performance Partner at Aspire2bee, said: "We are very excited to be working in direct partnership with Cardiff University and Bridgend College.

“As Wales leading learning technology company, A2B pride ourselves on working with schools across Wales as well as globally, in helping them use technology to maximise teaching and learning opportunities and to create excitement in the classroom.

“Aspire2Bee has clearly identified its aims for the company and by partnering with Cardiff University it ensures that our offering around research, curriculum content aligned to the new curriculum, in particular the Science and Technology AOLEs, and the technological offering through a bespoke web application, to schools is extremely exciting.

“Together, we aim to engage schools and local businesses in adopting their own hives to grow and learn together about the awareness and importance of bees."

Les Baillie, Professor in Microbiology at Cardiff’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said: “Just as a honey bee creates new life by transporting pollen from plant to plant, the University is keen to pollinate young minds with new ideas which will inspire the next generation of Welsh scientists.”

The scheme will initially focus on honeybee hives being “adopted” by schools. Participating schools will then receive curriculum rich digital content and lesson plans in line with the Donaldson report and new curriculum in Wales.

Dr Scott Morgan, Digital Lead, Bridgend College, said: "We are excited to be working in partnership with Aspire 2Bee and Cardiff University on this project combining programming skills with a biological understanding of bees. We are particularly looking forward to working on a programme which aligns with the new curriculum development in Wales and enables learners from across the education sector to work collaboratively."

Mark Douglas, Partner, Brand and Client Development, Aspire2Bee, added: “Under the watchful eye of Professor Baillie, we are also developing ‘in hive’ technology that will allow the pupils to “see and listen to” their hive from their school devices. This will be delivered via our upcoming School Bees APP.”

Professor Baillie and his @pharmabees team have a long-standing track record for innovation and have developed a range of private sector ventures with companies including Conway’s Celtic Wellbeing, Swansea-based Welsh Brew Tea, and Bridgend’s Bang-On Brewery.