BUSY little bumblebees were hard at work this month as students across the South East participated in a Slovenian inspired workshop.
Over 300 students participated in the Honey Bee Breakfast designed by Limestone Coast Pantry and Pine Ridge Honey.
The idea formed when Pine Ridge Honey owners Natasha and Damian Srpcic decided to bring the Slovenian tradition to Australia.
“My husband Damian is Slovenian and beekeeping is a great tradition in Slovenia,” Ms Srpcic told The Border Watch at the event.
“On the third Friday of November the country celebrates a honey bee breakfast where all kids eat honey and learn about bees.
“We brainstormed how we could bring the event here and this is essentialy the result.”
Limestone Coast Pantry event organiser Liz Spencer and Ms Srpcic first designed the draft for the event.
“Natasha and I designed a draft for expression of interest and went out to every childcare, kindy and primary school in the region, including the outlying schools,” Ms Spencer said.
“We went out hoping to at least fill the Friday, but the response we got back was really overwhelming and encouraging.
“We had to extend the event over multiple days and have had other schools respond to get in for next year.”
Students from Reception to Year 7 were involved in the event, participating in interactive learning activities.
The event involved stations, each with a short talk and interactive activity, including beekeeper suit displays and crafts.
An interactive colouring competition was a highlight for many involved.
“All students received a honey bee passport and went around and learnt about the different types of hives, the anatomy of the bee, lifecycle of the bee, about a bee hive and how they make honey,” Ms Srpcic said.
“They get a passport stamp on each page when they visit each station and receive a pancake with honey at the end.
“It is our first event and we decided to hold it here at Limestone Coast Pantry as they have always stocked our honey and are just as passionate about giving back to the community as we are.”
Ms Spencer believes both businesses are “community minded”.
“We are a very community focused private business and that is one reason why we wanted to collaborate with Pine Ridge Honey,” Ms Spencer said.
“We have both just won awards at the 2018 chamber of commerce business awards in our respective categories and it was exciting as we were already organising and collaborating the event before the presentation.
“The bee aspect was something that seemed really engaging for younger children, so we thought it was an interactive way to learn.”
Ms Srpcic believes the event will become an annual tradition.
“The idea has always been to make it an annual event and this is our pilot program to see how things go,” she said.
“We will send our feedback forms to everyone that has been along to see what worked and what did not.
Entry fees were kept low, essentially covering the event costs.
“Some classes from schools have chosen the three dollar entry fee per child, which includes all the activities and the pancake,” Ms Srpcic said.
“The others chose the six dollar entry fee which also gives the child a small sample honey.
“We are really excited about the potential of this and helping school children in a unique hands-on experience.”