Two beehives have sweetened Jessamine County’s implementation of Kentucky’s Farm to School program. The bees will pollinate an orchard of 16 fruit trees that could produce food for school cafeterias by fall 2013.
After approval from the board of education, the bees arrived at their new home behind Jessamine Career and Technology Center in April. Agriculture teacher Matt Simpson says he hopes the apple, pear and peach trees will be in the ground by the end of the school year. The money to purchase the hives and trees came from a Kentucky Department of Agriculture grant.
JCTC agriculture instructors visited the hives last Thursday with Jessamine County resident Larry Blandford, who serves as treasurer of the Bluegrass Beekeepers Association. Blandford helped identify the queen bees and give maintenance guidance.
Cafeterias in Jessamine County currently use lettuce that is grown hydroponically in a greenhouse at West Jessamine High School. Simpson said fruit is the next expansion of the Farm to School program in the county.