Eight-year-old New Brunswick girl on a mission to save the bees
STEEVES MOUNTAIN, N.B. -- An eight-year-old girl in New Brunswick is causing quite a buzz as Renee McCumber raises money to adopt as many honey bee hives as she can.
What started as a homeschooling project became a passion project for this busy little bee.
Matt Casey has been keeping honey bees on his property in Steeves Mountain, N.B., for the last four years
But just recently he came up with the idea to give people the opportunity to adopt a hive for a $100 donation.
"It allows them to be involved in the beekeeping process," Casey said. "They're able to come out here, visit and tour the farm. They're able to go through the hives with me if they want. They get a one-litre jar of honey, they get to name the queen in the hive and they get a picture of her of course."
The program caught the eye of Elise Fougere and her daughter, Renee McCumber.
"First of all, they're so cute and fuzzy and adorable and a huge part of the ecosystem," said McCumber. "And they're one of my favourite animals."
Fougere chose to homeschool McCumber this year due to concerns around COVID-19, but says this program allows her to work in multiple different aspects of the curriculum.
"When I saw the hive adoption program, I thought to myself this would be a great opportunity to work on a bunch of different school subjects in one project and kind of conglomerate everything," Fougere said.
It's a lesson plan Casey was fully on board with.
"One of my goals with this as well is to engage the younger generation to kind of show them this and maybe spark something later on they might be interested in apiculture down the road," Casey said.
On top of accepting donations for her hive adoption mission, McCumber is also commissioning art projects to help raise funds.
"If people donate money, depending on the amount, I'll give them something back," she said.
Says Fougere: "For each $100 that we get we'll be adopting a new hive. Anything that we have left over she will either put towards her own bee suit or we'll do things to put it back into the project."
And for those wondering how she braves the buzz of all those busy bees?
"Cause I'm not afraid, and little girls don't have to be afraid," McCumber said.
Proving that even the young can be fearless leaders.