Week Four’s theme was

Amazing Agriculture: Farms & Food

This week, both groups got to learn about all things bees with Erin from Pollinate MN. Erin talked to us about the biology and behaviors of bees, along with the differences between worker, drone, and queen bees.

Erin Rupp, founder of Pollinate MN

Live bee colony

She even brought a live bee colony and freshly hatching drone bees that we could hold since they don’t have stingers. The students grew really attached to these bees, and gave them names like Bob, Jimmy, & Henry. We also got to sample different kinds of fresh honey, which were all really sweet and tasty! They fed their pet bees some honey as well. They also got to try on beekeeping suits!

Student holding a drone bee

Students sampling honey

After all the buzz, we discussed the important role bees play as pollinators, and then watched The Bee Movie.

The Middle Schoolers had another Tuesday session with Steve Birth, where they continued working on their homemade boomboxes. On Thursday, The Real Minneapolis came to do some flower planting with them outside. The students each picked out plants to transplant into a “community garden” planter box.

The Real Minneapolis planting flowers with the middle schoolers

The Elementary group spent another Thursday with Creative Kuponya, who taught them some fun songs about planting seeds of happiness until they grow into trees. Students were asked what makes them happy, and they gave a variety of answers, including family, friends, and food.

Interactive songs with Creative Kuponya

On Friday, the whole group traveled to Amery, Wisconsin to visit Whetstone Farm. Whetstone Farm is described as a dynamic collaborative farm project looking to build community and resiliency in sustainable farming. We helped shuck fresh corn and pick seeds out of fresh watermelon, which we got to eat after! Everything was so delicious and great to enjoy picnic-style on the farm land.

Students shucking fresh corn for lunch

We also got to walk through the fields and identify different crops, such as tomatoes, radishes, carrots, and kale. They even let us pick some to take home! It was awesome seeing a real, working farm after all we learned about agriculture this week.

Students identifying and picking crops on the farm

Stay tuned to see what we did during Week 5 of camp! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to see more photos from Genius Labs.