Campbell, Cupertino students propose solution to save bee populations

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Campbell, Cupertino students propose solution to save bee populations

Campbell, Cupertino students propose solution to save bee populations

Four West Valley students are taking matters into their own hands to keep local bee populations from declining.

Two students from the Campbell Union School District and two from the Cupertino Union School District have teamed up to spread awareness to cities and bee keeping associations about their solutions.

Forest Hill Elementary students Advik Gonugunta, 9, and Yash Chitambar, 11, along with Murdock-Portal Elementary student Ahana Mangla, 9, and Richa Limaye, 9, from Montclaire Elementary gave their presentation through the First Lego League early last month.

First Lego League is a global tournament challenging children to think creatively to solve worldly issues. This year’s theme was Animal Allies. Teams of children in grades 4-8 had to identify a problem affecting both animals and humans while coming up with a solution to benefit both species.

For Advik, Yash, Ahana and Richa, declining bee populations seemed like an issue that affects everyone around the globe.

“We came up with different things,” Ahana said. “We decided bees would be the best idea. They help us through pollination and providing honey. We realized there are so few of them. Pretty soon they’ll be endangered.”

The students said that on Sept. 30 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added seven species of bees native to Hawaii to the endangered species list.

“We wanted to let people know how they could protect their local bee populations,” Yash said.

The students went to city council meetings to inform the public about easy solutions they could implement to help bees, including planting bee-friendly flowers in public areas and using organic pesticides.

They also discussed their original design for a mesh screen for beehives. As bees enter the hive through the screen, harmful parasites that could kill off bee populations would be scraped off, according to Advik.

The group presented their research and proposed design to the Campbell and Saratoga city councils and to the Santa Clara Beekeepers Guild. The students were seeking possible funding and volunteers to test out their design. They also presented to their research to the Campbell Union School District’s governing board on Nov. 17.

“I think they did an excellent job for making the case of why we need to protect bees,” said  board member Richard Nguyen. “I know that all the board members were impressed by how thoughtful and passionate they were about bees.”

Thus far, the group has not raised any funds for the mesh design. Students are working to make a presentation to the Monte Sereno City Council in the near future.

“If we do get any money, we’ll buy the materials and our parents will help us build the screens,” Richa said.

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Published at Tue, 20 Dec 2016 23:30:09 +0000