Dundee Pupils Buzzing as Honey Goes on Sale in City Shop
A group of Dundee school pupils are buzzing as their school honey goes on sale at Dundee Science Centre’s gift shop.
Pupils at Baldragon Academy produced the award-winning honey from their school’s outdoor apiary where they learn about the life cycle of the insects, their biology, how to spot diseases and pollination. They then put the theory to practice, protected by beekeeping suits, checking and recording data from the four hives, maintaining the health of the eggs and larvae, and gathering honey from thousands of thriving working bees. Other pupils have used the honey to create chutney and other food products.
Due to the success of the Baldragon Beekeepers Association, founded in 2021, the school has secured approval to launch an SQA qualification, a National Progression Award (NPA) at SCQF level 5. By becoming an SQA Learning Centre, the Baldragon Beekeepers Association will be able to teach and mentor staff from other schools to teach the subject within their schools.
Fred Mollison, Scottish Expert Bee Master, said, “Pupils learn about every aspect of bee-keeping, but it’s much more than a science project and is now a formal qualification giving pupils recognition and validation of what they have learned. With the hives built by the school’s technology department and labels and packaging created by the art department, pupils develop many other transferable skills from numeracy, marketing and advertising to horticulture, biology, art and design. They even gain an understanding of the food safety standards required to sell the product. Profits from the sale of the honey will also be ploughed back into school funds to ensure the club’s long-term viability and get more pupils involved.”
Hugh McAninch, Head Teacher, added, “At the end of the day, it’s about diversifying our curriculum to create a sustainable education that would complement other subjects taught in the classroom, from climate change to business and enterprise. Pupils gain so much from seeing the end result of their efforts and, together, have created a marketable product they can be proud of. We are absolutely thrilled to see the fruits of their labour in our first ever retail environment, Dundee Science Centre’s gift shop.”
Taking delivery of the honey at Dundee Science Centre, Christina Mackenzie, Head of Centre Services and Operations, said, “We have been following the progress of Baldragon Beekeepers Association for some time, so we are delighted to now be selling their honey in our gift shop. For pupils to really get excited about STEM, they need to see it in action and this project is an excellent example of that, with a tangible outcome pupils can work towards, enjoy and celebrate. It’s also fantastic that pupils can now work towards a qualification, giving them credit and acknowledgement for their hard work.”
The club has already won two major awards – its comb honey and honey chutney at the Scottish National Honey Show, run by the Scottish Beekeepers’ Association, and first place for best school poster, which raised awareness of the importance of bees.
Meanwhile, this summer, the club also won an Environment and Sustainability Award at Dundee City Council’s OSCAs (Outstanding Service and Commitments Award). This unique approach at Baldragon Academy has also earned the school a place as a finalist in the national Holyrood Climate Action Awards 2023.
The honey is now available for sale at Dundee Science Centre – for opening hours, visit www.dundeesciencecentre.org.uk
For more information about the club, visit https://www.baldragonbeekeepers.co.uk/ and follow them on X (former Twitter) at #BaldrgonGrows