DEKALB JUNCTION, N.Y. (WWTI) — Imagine starting the first day of school with 10,000 new friends.

A reality this year at the Hermon-Dekalb Central School District. Over the summer, the district installed a beehive full of honeybees, through a grant from The Bee Cause Project and Whole Kids Foundation.

The Beehive grant came with a thorough curriculum, which some fifth-grade students began learning in summer school. Some have already become experts.

“The bees are very, very important and vital to our survival because they’re the ones who pollinate our plants and food,” Griffin Williams stated.

“It starts egg, larva, pupa and then adult bees,” Samantha Kulb said as she explained the life cycle.

“The queen bee lays all the eggs and the drone bees help in the hive,” Molly MacDonald added. “Then the worker bees go to get pollen.”

Lincoln Hammond shared, “It helps the school have honey and it gives kids and opportunity to see how pollination works.”

The hive is located inside a classroom in the school. However, there is a tube that allows the insects to travel outdoors and eventually pollinate in local areas.

According to School Assistant Principal Rebecca Hocking, this has taught students why bees are essential to entire ecosystems.

“Many of our students live on farms, many of their families work for farms or work on a farm,” Hocking explained. “So they understand the hard work that goes into that and the needs of that.”

She said this will help keep kids “buzzing” in school. The grant from The Bee Cause Foundation provide lesson plans for students in grades K-12.

“You wouldn’t think that something like this has such an impact on curriculum every day, but it does,” she expressed. “Giving the kids a hands-on opportunity to learn and apply those skills and make it important to them and make a connection to a life experience they have.”

The students will be able to observe the over 10,000 honeybees year-round.