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A Sweet Payoff: Honey Harvest Day At Mamaroneck High School

MAMARONECK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - It's a honey of a payoff for Mamaroneck High School students learning about the critical environmental importance of bees.

Honey Harvest Day At Mamaroneck High School
Mamaroneck HS students Emma Thorpe and Jerry Orans prepare to remove honey from a hive frame. (credit: Tony Aiello/CBS2)

After tending hives for two years, Monday the students harvested a tasty reward: It's honey harvest day.

They harvested 100 pounds of the sweet treat, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

From A to Z, the students know their bees.

"About 30% of all the crops we eat are pollinated by bees. So they're very important to our food source," student Emma Thorpe said.

The humble honeybee plays an outsize role in our agriculture and environment. That's a big reason Mamaroneck High School students put three hives out back two years ago for more than 30,000 of the pollinators.

"The exciting part about it is kids actually got to see a project from inception to fruition which often doesn't happen because things go wrong," said science teacher Cathy O'Reilly.

PHOTOS: Honey Harvest Day At Mamaroneck High School

The project buzzed along nicely. The bees filled dozens of frames with honey. The sticky stuff was extracted by a machine purchased with a grant from the local educational foundation.

Honey Harvest Day At Mamaroneck High School
Students scrape the wax cap off before putting frame into extraction machine. (credit: Tony Aiello/CBS2)

Science students have been busy as - well, you know - caring for the insects. Engineering students constructed the beehives, which are now a hub of activity for many school departments and organizations.

Culinary students will cook with the honey, and business students will put together a plan to sell it.

"Right from understanding how much it cost to set these things up, to yields and how much honey's coming out, what could we potentially market it for," said teacher Jim Love.

The beehive is nature's near-perfect example of individuals working towards a common goal.

"If they all work together, great things happen. They pollinate all around, and they create honey," said student Jacqueline Chiu.

A good lesson for students? Better bee-lieve it.

Culinary students used the honey to make salad dressing and also sweet pizza crust.

Mamaroneck is the only public high school in New York with a beekeeping program.

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