All I Need to Know, I Learned from My Bees

At times, the best part of being active is clearing your mind from the everyday stresses. This is what our guest blogger, Sue, has been doing with her bee keeping. Although Sue is young in her bee keeping years, she already has a great appreciation for the bee’s and the lessons they provide:

This spring, I took the plunge into beekeeping. I got the gear, set up a hive in my backyard, and bought two pounds of bees plus queen. (Yes, they are sold by the pound.) Although beekeeping isn’t for everyone, I think it’s pretty cool and I’ve already learned a lot—and not just about bees. I’ve noticed that bees have a lot to teach us.Sue Roberts In Bee Gear 2

If you try something and it doesn’t work out, try something else. Nobody likes flowers as much as bees. That’s where they get their food. But once a clump of flowers is done, the bees move on to other flowers. They don’t worry about it, take it personally, get angry, or wait around on the chance more flowers will bloom; they just move on and try something else. By letting go of things that are done and being open to new ideas and opportunities, bees are more successful.

If something happens, get back on track as soon as possible. You might think the life of a bee is all flowers and sunshine, but that’s not the case. For example, the day I picked up my bees, they had a long trip in a small box. I’m sure their experience was like a car trip with coworkers from Medford to Portland with no lunch or bathroom stops. When everyone finally got out of the box, they didn’t go right to work. After first using the bathroom, they started flying around like crazy. By the way, when a big event like this happens, bees figure the day is blown and don’t do much after that. However the next day, the bees had adapted to the changes and were right back on track.

Make good use of your time. From dawn to dusk, the bees are all busy doing something. Once the morning sun hits the hive, nobody hits the snooze button. EverySue Roberst bees-May2015body has a plan for the day and gets right to it. Even if a bee stops for donuts or a little shopping on the way to the flowers, they still get right back on task after the break. And bees don’t stay out very late in the evening. After a full day of doing bee things, they’re ready to head to the hive, put their six feet up, and call it a night. Life is short, especially if you’re a bee, so they make the most of it.

We all matter. When it’s really hot, bees turn on the fans. A group will line up in the hive and fan their wings to move the air. This line of bees extends right out the front door onto the porch. (The hive porch probably has a technical name, but I always think of it as the porch.) While other bees may have more glamorous jobs like gathering pollen or building comb, the fan bees are vital to cooling the hive. And each one in line is important to the whole organization. So, think about this the next time you’re feeling the heat or your work seems tedious. Even if you’re the last guy in line with your bee hind hanging out the door, what you do is important and you matter.

Walking and Running Their Way to a Healthy Lifestyle – The Ponderosa Pacers

IMG_9406Jennifer Stoor, a Physical Education teacher, created a culture of healthy and active living at Ponderosa Elementary School in the West Ada School District. She started a program in 2002 designed to teach kids at an early age that running, walking, and living an active lifestyle feels good. It’s called the Ponderosa Pacers!

Students line up at recess to run and walk around their track – some kids run or walk 1-2 miles during recess. For each completed lap students get a marker which they then take back to the classroom where teachers use them in other daily lessons like math.  This year the Pacers have already gone more than 40,000 miles!

Students that participate in the Pacer program significantly improve their one-mile run time by the end of the school year.  Nearly half of the students qualify as “advanced” in the President’s Fitness Challenge.

Healthy and active living has spread far beyond the outside track at Ponderosa Elementary. Jennifer has helped to improve the lunch room environment as well, adorning it with posters of famous athletes and making healthy food options are easily found.  When the healthy choice is the easy choice and the cool choice, everyone wins!  Students have also taken their healthy lifestyle tips home to parents who are now making healthier food choices for their families and becoming more active as a family.  So, parents are losing weight and reaping the benefits as well!

The Pacer program is about improving the overall well- being of our youth. Students who were once overweight are now losing weight and gaining self-confidence. The kids that don’t have a lot of friends are able to join in on the cool thing to do during recess.  Students are able to set goals of how many miles they want to walk and feel the pride of achieving that victory.

In the end students will find that physical activity isn’t something to be dreaded but something to look forward to.  At an early age they have made healthy life choices that will sustain them as they age.

Ponderosa Elementary is currently raising money to build a new quarter-mile track.  The track they currently have is narrow and not conveniently located on the school grounds.  For more information or to find out how you can help, please contact Jennifer Stoor at 208.283.8337

Why do You Walk? Here are the Answers!

Yesterday concluded our last “Walk it Off Wednesday” of the summer! These past three weeks we asked, “Why do you walk?” We received some really good answers… some completely honest, some humorous, and some profound. Here they are for you to enjoy!