Senior Roots & Shoots / Student Advocates Club

On Tuesday our senior group took a field trip to a Novato resident’s property to see bee boxes. Two of Marin Humane’s volunteers, Bonnie and Gary, run Bonnie Bee & Company – A company that is “committed to providing a local source for bees and reliable support (through classes, private lessons and hive management) for area beekeepers.” Bonnie and Gary outfitted us with protective gear (a range of full bee suits to just hoods depending on our comfort level) and we spent 45 minutes learning about bees! Did you know there are 83 species of bees just in Marin?


Here are some other bee facts that we learned:

  • 4,000 species of bees are native to the United States – 1,600 in California
  • Male honey bees (called drones) don’t have stingers, their job is to mate!
  • Honey bees die after stinging mammals, but can sting other insects without dying.
  • Queen bees are made by feeding solely “royal jelly” to day old larvae
  • Approximately one-third of all the food Americans eat is directly or indirectly derived from honey bee pollination. Some crops pollinated are cucumbers, almonds, carrot seed, melons, apricots, cherries, pears, apples, prunes, plums, pluots, seed alfalfa, cantaloupe, seed onions, avocados, kiwi, blueberries, cranberries, etc.
  • To attract these wonderful honey bees you can plant the following plants at home: Poppies, sunflowers, and lavender to name a few.


Junior Roots & Shoots

On Thursday our junior group helped out with a bunch of Animal Care tasks. We began by rolling newspaper for rabbit habitats. You can do this at home by laying 30-40 full sheets of newspaper directly on top of one another (edges neatly stacked) and then rolling it up and securing with rubber bands. You can also just donate newspaper to the shelter. We have wonderful volunteers that help us roll newspaper.

After rolling newspaper, we divided into two groups. One group completely cleaned a full industrial sink of dishes (for at least half an hour!) while the other group did laundry, cleaned litter boxes, and sorted tennis balls.


Afterwards, we got to meet Julius Squeezer, a Ball Python, and Kandy the Cornsnake. Julius Squeezer is believed to be 30 years old! He lived in a science classroom for most of his life. Ball Pythons usually live to be 25-30 years old in captivity, so he’s been cared for very well. Because snakes require specific heating conditions, they are housed in the back where they are not easily accessible by the public. The same goes for turtles and other reptiles or amphibians we may get. You can always ask to meet our reptilian friends if you are interested in adoption.


Our next meetings will be our last for the semester. The junior group will be hosting a bake sale at the shelter on Thursday, May 2nd during our regular meeting time of 4-5:30pm. The senior group will hold their bake sale at the Pet Food Express by Kitty Corner in San Anselmo at the Red Hill Shopping Center on Saturday, May 4th from 2-4pm.