By Marilyn Pignataro
Girl Scout Cadette Leanna Bea Pignataro, age 13 of Freeport, was researching ideas for a Silver Award project. She wanted to solve a problem in her community and beyond. That’s when she came up with “Bee-Cause” to help the local honey bee population. She and her father, Joey Pignataro, researched the top bar bee hive and spent the winter building it.
“I chose this project because the honey bee population is decreasing and that worries me, so I decided to step in and build them a new home where they can produce their honey,” Leanna explained.
Leanna is working with Jean-Marie Posner of Sands Point, who is the resident bee-keeper at the preserve. They met at a bee-keeping program last August. Leanna decided to donate the bee hive to her to keep at Sands Point Preserve. After donating the hive, she and Posner introduced a nuc (small bee colony centered on the Queen) of about 30,000 bees to the new hive. Leanna will visit the hive on a regular basis to see if the bees are taking to their new home and to note their progress.
Over the next few months, Leanna will assist Posner in delivering several bee keeping programs at the preserve. The largest program will take place on National Honeybee Day, Saturday, Aug. 18.
Leanna is a member of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 2144 in Baldwin. She is one of several girls pursuing Silver Awards. The Silver Award is the second highest award of the Girl Scouts of the USA and the highest award that a Girl Scout Cadette can earn. Girls contribute 50 or more hours to a project that will improve an aspect of their community that they feel passionate about or where they feel they can inspire positive change.