If you think shoveling snow was tough this year, think about the poor bees.
Bees in southeast Michigan had a really rough winter. And because of the dry summer, they could not collect enough food to get them through the cold season. Most area hives died off, including the teaching hive at Rochester's Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve.
Thanks to volunteer Fred Rosvold new bees have been ordered. But the actual hive, made of wood and Plexiglass, was already in rough shape. A part of Dinosaur Hill since the late 1980s, the Plexiglass on the hive warped, and the bees chewed through the wood and entered the nature center.
Scout takes on project
It was the perfect time for a new bee habitat to be built. Enter Rochester High School freshman and Boy Scout Anthony Bogucki.
Dinosaur Hill frequently benefits from aspiring Eagle Scouts looking for a project. Bogucki wants to earn the Eagle rank, the highest in Scouting. A successful project is required.
"There was a list of projects for Dinosaur Hill, including the bee hive, and when I saw that on the list, I wanted to do it because I liked the bee hive as a kid," Bogucki said.
Like most Rochester-Rochester Hills kids, Bogucki spent time at Dinosaur Hill on class field trips. Now he is giving back so the next generation of elementary students can enjoy the bees.
The cost of the new hive is about $700 and Bogucki has been collecting money through donation pots at elementary schools and at Dinosaur Hill (including $12 from Patch, the winnings from the St. Patrick's Day lucky lottery experiment.)
Although the work is a bit more challenging than Bogucki anticipated, with the help of other Scouts the hive is on schedule to be in place by April 1 when bees will arrive.
"The hive is an educational tool at Dinosaur Hill," said Sharon Taber, program director. "We use it in a family program, our insect classes and to help eliminate the fear of honeybees."
The new hive will be key in pollination of the new community garden project headed by Dinosaur Hill. In addition to the indoor teaching hive, another outdoor hive will be added this summer to help with gardening efforts.