Beekeeping project using new technology to raise awareness of a sustainable future.

Bridgend College has recently teamed up with Cardiff University and a leading learning technology company, Aspire 2Be, based in South Wales. The aim of the project is to encourage school pupils to learn about the importance of bees and beekeeping, thus building a natural and sustainable future.

Working with the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University, the technology firm has formed a sister company, Aspire2Bee, to encourage primary schools in Wales to adopt and care for honeybee hives.

Dr Scott Morgan, Digital lead at Bridgend College, has developed a system to live-stream video and audio of bee hives to YouTube using a Raspberry Pi, a small credit card sized computer that can be plugged into a TV or computer monitor.  He’s created a learning resource based around programming to accompany it, which is to be accessible by primary school children. The programme will be offered to all schools in Wales through Aspire2Bee.

Dr Scott Morgan said: “We are excited to be working in partnership with Aspire 2Bee and Cardiff University on this project combining programming skills with a biological understanding of bees. We are particularly looking forward to working on a programme which aligns with the new curriculum development in Wales and enables learners from across the education sector to work collaboratively.”

Simon Pridham, Education and Performance Partner at Aspire2bee, said: “We are very excited to be working in direct partnership with Cardiff University and Bridgend College.

“As Wales leading learning technology company, Aspire2Be pride ourselves on working with schools across Wales as well as globally, in helping them use technology to maximise teaching and learning opportunities and to create excitement in the classroom.

“Together, we aim to engage schools and local businesses in adopting their own hives to grow and learn together about the awareness and importance of bees.”

Mark Douglas, Partner, Brand and Client Development, Aspire2Bee, added: “Under the watchful eye of Professor Baillie, we are also developing ‘in hive’ technology that will allow the pupils to “see and listen to” their hive from their school devices.

The project is an exciting development for Bridgend College and works in-line with our current sustainable development strategy and our aspirations to develop environmental awareness.