STEMM Idol: Senior Capstone About the Bee Population

The buzzing sound of bees may not be the most pleasant to some. That sound, and therefore bees, is a necessity, though, for there to be food for living beings on a daily basis.

For the final STEMM Idol Speaker Series presentation of the year, the Senior Capstone group of Morgan Coovert, Spencer Dufresne, Angela Hodapp and Bridget Miles shared their research findings on the state of the bee population.

"A majority of our food system is dependent on bees and there could be consequences if we don't do something about their declining population," said Miles.

"I had no idea any of this was going on until I began researching it," Coovert added. "It's shocking information for anyone."

During their presentation, the group shared that in the 1940's, there were five million bees to pollinate food. The present day population of bees is now cut in half. A main reason behind this, the group explained, is due to pesticides, particularly neonicotinoid insecticides. In their presentation, the group said 42% of the honeybee population has collapsed because of neonicotinoid insecticides.

"Those pesticides have nicotine infused into the plant seeds," Hodapp shared. "The pesticides kill the bees' nervous and immune systems and researchers are looking into the effects it also has on humans."

The group told their classmates that taking action by buying organic food or planting flowers and herbs that are bee friendly can help make a positive impact to the bee population right now. Students who attended the STEMM Idol presentation were encouraged to take flower seeds the Capstone group provided and to make a pledge to create a bee friendly garden free of pesticides.

"Awareness around the country about this issue is growing," Eric Grimm, the Capstone group's mentor noted. "It's good to see young people take on a specific environmental issue and try to work towards solutions."

You can visit a website the Senior Capstone Group created about their research project here.

Are you interested in becoming a CJ STEMM Idol Speaker Series presenter for the 2016-2017 school year? Contact Meg Draeger, CJ STEMM coordinator, at (937) 461-3740 x487, or at

Posted April 5, 2016