By KENDRA BURDICK and AVA LARSON
Note: NO ANIMALS WERE HURT FOR THIS ARTICLE
The bees are more attracted to the trash cans because of the pheromones that are released by the trash. Bees are being killed because they get caught under the lids of these trash cans. Some people have even suggested that governments should be working on a solution to this problem, but it may be too late for that. Photo made with Autodesk Sketchbook, a drawing and sketching app. (AILEEN JANEE CORPUS/ Ethic News art)
Since the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, honey bees have been very attracted to Redlands East Valley High School and are collecting in the trash cans and the trees around campus. They are hovering over students’ food and intruding on their lunch time: a time that would normally serve as a peaceful break from teacher instruction.
The bees have become especially troublesome to people with bee allergies because they are forced to constantly pass trash cans during passing periods and lunch.
“I have to be aware of the bees because of my allergies to bees,” Emiliy Jean Scott, a freshman at REV, said. “They’re mainly in the trash cans which are gross, and they’re beginning to bug people. I believe that they smell something sweet and that’s why they are going into the trash cans.”
Fae Norris, a sophomore at REV, said, “The bees are terrible due to my allergies and I don’t carry an EpiPen. I get attacked by bees a lot, and I think that if they were to move the trash cans away from the students, just so we don’t keep getting attacked.”
Sharon Dobesh, the pesticide coordinator in the Department of Entomology, explains the main reason for bees surrounding the trash cans.
Dobesh says, “They are just looking for new sources of nutrition since flower populations are declining.”
The bees are attracted to anything sweet, mainly items with sugar such as candy, granola bars and sugary drinks. They will also swarm around fruits such as apples, dragon fruit and oranges, which explains the swarms near the schools near the orange groves.
Bees form and create hives as their place of producing their honey for their spawns. The typical honey bee likes to live in rock crevices and hollow parts of trees in which they believe that it has enough space for their colony to live and survive. They construct their hives out of wax, which they chew to make it soft and bond it into honeycombs to form their hive.
In addition to bees inconveniencing students, they are also becoming a burden to teachers. Because of the autumn season, teachers are opening the doors and window seals of their classrooms to allow light and the thin breeze to brush through. However, when teachers open their windows, they are met not only by the seasonal breeze but by bees that fly into their classroom and disturb valuable instructional minutes.
REV earth science teacher Ted Ducey said, “The bees come through the windows when I have them open and cause a small disruption to the class.”
Kalynn Greenley, an English teacher at REV, says, “It’s affecting my class because it takes ten minutes to catch a single bee.”
In order to prevent bees from invading their classroom, many teachers on the lower level of the English building have been putting up magnetic screens on their doors. However, some teachers do not have these screens and are interrupted hourly by bees flying into their class.
The bees takeover has caused a loss of focus, learning and even disrupts students walking through the halls. With the orange groves right next to REV, there is no indication that the swarm of bees are leaving anytime soon.