A Flats and Bee Majors

Bees EVERYWHERE!!! Mrs. P’s room deals with an infestation of our favorite pollinators

Have you ever experienced a pesky little bug flying around your head? 

Picture trying to sing in four-part harmony while black and gold pests with little stingers buzz near your open mouths. It is not that easy. 

All you need to solve that problem is a feisty chorus teacher with a passion for the death of bees.

Let’s delve into the heart of the problem in our interview with the knight-in-shining-armor herself, Mrs. Pontiere.


What is your view on the bee problem in the chorus room?

We did have a big issue with bees. I want to say it lasted for about 8 days. Within the very first day that we started noticing the bees, we counted 15 bees that we either caught or squashed and tossed out the door. Others just flew outside with the assistance of a music binder. I did count 15 though. From that point on it got a little better but we were at about 8-10 bees everyday for about a week and a half or so. 


What precautions have you taken to ensure the students safety.

The first thing I did was was thinking back to what the problems could be. At the time I was using a diffuser that had lavender oil in it. I googled to see if it had any connection to the bees. It turned out lavender did attract the bees so we stopped using the diffuser. Furthermore, if we turned the lights off it seemed that they were not as prevalent. They seemed to really like hovering around the hot lights. I did go back and take a look to make sure no one had a very bad bee allergy.

NAI’s fearless beekeeper-in-training, Mrs. P


How did you learn to take care of bees so bravely? 

I think that’s from being a mom. I always used to the leave bees and spiders to whoever was older in the house. When you become a caretaker for somebody else you get to be the one who gets the bees and the spiders and whatever else comes into your home or classroom.


Do you see more hornets or honey bees in the room daily?

There were a few hornets, but really there were more wasps.


How has the bee problem affected class time and learning?

Honestly it was a huge distraction. They would be buzzing around and it seemed like they were getting aggressive. They’d get close to the kids, my face and ms. schoenweis’s face so it was distracting to what we were doing for sure.

Ms. Schoenwiese is currently a beekeeper-in-training, apprenticing with Mrs. P. One day, she hopes to be able to battle bees on her own.


How is the progress coming with the bees in the room? Do you feel the janitors are getting the squashing done well?

I think we are pretty much beeless right now. I put in a work credit with our maintenance department and they came and they looked in the room. They couldn’t find a nest anywhere in the room so they wanted to go on top of the roof. The problem is when you’re looking for bees, specifically a wasp nest, it’s best to do that when the bees are all inside the nest, which occurs when it’s dark. What happened was the maintenance people got up on top of the roof and took a look. I think it was around 5 am, when it was still dark, and they found two nests up there. 


What is your least favorite bug?

A spider or the hairy thousand leggers you see in your basement.


Ms. Schoenwiese, are you in awe of Mrs. P’s skills?

Oh yes, without a doubt.