Group Profile: St Joseph Montessori School Laudato Si' Club and Honey Bee Project


Group Profile: St Joseph Montessori School Laudato Si' Club and Honey Bee Project
Students at St Joseph Montessori School in Columbus, OH, formed a Laudato Si' Club, launched a beekeeping project, and developed a pollinator garden that was recognized as a St. Kateri Conservation Habitat. The school also has an outdoor peace garden, outdoor classroom space, and hopes to build a greenhouse that can be used to grow and provide food for a local food pantry.
A group of St Joseph Montessori School students were inspired by Pope Francis’ letter to the world called Laudato Si.  In his letter, the Pope called for every person on the planet to live more simply, in harmony with nature, to care for each other and our common home.  In other words, the Pope wants us to "bee-have" better towards our environment.

St Joseph Montessori students formed an Environmental Club called Laudato Si'. The club spent time researching Honey Bees, bee colony collapse, and the importance of bees. They decided they must do something. Students applied for grants, presented plans for two bee hives, an enclosure around the hives, and a pollinator garden to the school and Sacred Heart parish leadership. They required permissions to use school and church property for the bee hives. They even submitted plans to the local government, for approval.

They met with a bee-keeper to get some advice on building the hives. Throughout the winter months, they developed materials to share with the younger grade levels and during our Earth Day Celebrations on April 18, they presented to small groups within the school on bees and how they help the environment. The students passed out information flyers, along with wildflower seeds, to the surrounding homes explaining the bee hives and the importance of not treating their lawns with chemicals.

The Laudato Si Club evaluated the campus and identified an area where the bees would be able to co-exist with their surroundings but not interfere with the students and community. The area gets ample sunlight which will allow the bees to survive Ohio Winters. It is also elevated with a building nearby; this created a flight path for the bees that force them away from the playground and high foot traffic areas. It is also near an area of the school that has garden and flower beds that have been converted into pollinator gardens.

Now they manage two active hives of honey bees (St. Ambrose hive and St. Abigail hive) and a small pollinator garden, named after St. Kateri. We hope to have healthy bees -- and maybe some honey -- for years to come.
St Joseph Montessori School in Columbus, OH
St. Kateri Conservation Habitat
Roman Catholic
Resources For Action
Success Stories

Linked resources

Filter by property

Title Alternate label Class
Overview of grant application process for The Bee Cause Project Document
Engaged Organizations: Saint Kateri Conservation Center Organization