RAVENNA, Mich. — In December 2020, a group of students at Ravenna High School won a $100,000 prize to launch a project exploring the use of modern technology in the field of beekeeping. The students researched, built, and maintained beehives near a small building behind their high school. Now they are selling products in an area boutique, all of them created from the honey and beeswax their bees produced over the past year.
Ravenna High School was one of just five schools in the country to win a $100,000 rural tech prize from the United States Department of Education.
The money they received lasts for two years. After that point, the school has the chance to win an additional $100,000.
"What it is supposed to do is bridge the gap between urban schools and rural schools, in regards to our access to technology," explained teacher Melanie Block Thursday.
“There's been a big push the last couple of years in science to make sure that we're doing project-based learning, and that's exactly what agricultural education is.”
Initially, the group had intended to purchase a pre-constructed, automated beehive with the money, but they found that option too large for their starting point.
They built a more traditional beekeeping set up, but the structure of their class work was anything but.
They spent the summer months getting acquainted with the bee colonies, and learning how to properly maintain them. They would harvest the honey, and began bottling it up to sell.
Now they are also producing candles, chap stick, and soap as well. The students spent many days experimenting with recipes and methods of preparation.
The decided to call their new company The Bulldog Buzz.
You can purchase their items online (they are selling fast!) at the website students also created, and continue to maintain.
If you live in the Ravenna area, you can also just swing by Jennifer Ann's Boutique and Artisan Shop on Stafford to pick up some Bulldog Buzz items of your own.
FOX 17 will continue to check in on the class's progress throughout the next year, and bring you updates as we do.