Meet THE Beekeeper at JMBees Apiary

Meet Courtney Sheriff – STEM Teacher and Beekeeper

The Bee Cause Project Bee Mentor

The JMBees apiary at James M. Brown Elementary School in Walhalla, South Carolina, started in 2016 with one observation hive and grew to three hives due to Courtney’s dedication to her students and the bees. In the fall of 2022, the STEM program purchased two 3D Makerbot Sketch Printers by selling 35 gallons of honey harvested from the hives on campus. In addition, the 4th graders participated in a competition to design honey bee labels using Google Drawings. The winner was Melody, pictured above with her design, which was printed on stickers and sold on every jar of honey!

With the added benefits of the 2023 Renewal Grant, JMBees is expanding this Spring by adding two additional hives and purchasing protective gear for students to be able to experience more beekeeping. When asked what the Bee Grant has done for the program, Courtney said, “Our students are able to have a vast array of hands-on learning experiences that foster a love of learning and curiosity. We are grateful for being selected and look forward to expanding our hives for our students at James M. Brown Elementary.”

Courtney requested a special thank you to the school’s Bee Mentor, Jeff Blackwell. She commented, “Jeff holds a wealth of knowledge about honey bees and has served as a mentor for ten years in the School District of Oconee County. We greatly appreciate his continued support of our JMBees. Our honey bee program would not be what it is without the guidance and wisdom from Jeff.”