New Trier seniors: Bee habits fascinate New Trier senior
Updated: June 19, 2012 9:01AM
More than 100 New Trier seniors elected to trade four weeks of classes for some pursuit of their choosing, and many used their Senior Project to delve deeper into a field that might become their life’s work.
But Blaine Quackenbush opted to surround himself with tens of thousands of bees, not because he’s going into the honey production business, but because he finds beekeeping, well, really interesting.
“It’s a fascinating way to see thousands of organisms think and do as one organism, but also be doing different things to help the colony survive and thrive as one,” said Quackenbush, 18, who plans to study applied mathematics at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.
Working with Glencoe resident and beekeeper Allen Cosnow, Quackenbush conducted hive inspections and looked for swarm or superseder queen cells. “In the second two weeks, we did a great deal of swarm control,” said Quackenbush, of the colonies’ way of naturally dividing.
The Glencoe teen was stung nine times. “Six times were on my left foot all at once, which made me nervous because I had just started my project,” said Quackenbush, who produced a beekeeping manual and video.
Quackenbush said he plans to continue beekeeping as a hobby, noting the positive role bees play in a healthy ecosystem.
“If all that is not enough, then there is always the benefit of receiving honey at the end of the season,” he noted, “as long as you leave enough for the bees to survive through the winter.”