A Year 8 Pirongia School pupil finished second overall at the Waikato Science Fair with his exhibit that explored diseases in honey beehives.

Aidan Hodgson received the runner-up Supreme Award at the awards ceremony on Tuesday, August 11, coming in second behind a Year 13 student.

The awards ceremony was held at St Paul's Collegiate School in Hamilton.

Aidan also won the Year 8 Living World category and received the award for first overall in the fair for Year 8s.

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"I was really surprised to be honest, coming into the science fair I wasn't expecting much at all and I was just hoping for some sort of prize," says Aidan.

His exhibit, Destructors Deadly Disciples, investigated the relationship between the Varroa destructor mite and diseases in honey bee colonies.

"We lost a hive to diseases at home and so I personally wanted to do an investigation," says Aidan.

In conclusion, Aidan found that there was no relationship between the Varroa destructor mite and Nosema Apis – a fungus that mainly affects honey bees.

He did find a relation between the Varroa destructor mite and deformed wing virus (dwv) but says he would've liked to do more samples at different times.

Oliver Herbert (left), Liam Egan, Nathan Whiteman and Aidan Hodgson all represented Pirongia School at the Waikato Science Fair. Photo / Caitlan Johnston
Oliver Herbert (left), Liam Egan, Nathan Whiteman and Aidan Hodgson all represented Pirongia School at the Waikato Science Fair. Photo / Caitlan Johnston

Three other Pirongia School pupils came home with awards from the fair.

Liam Egan, Year 7, was highly commended in the Living World category and
also received the New Zealand Agricultural special prize award.

His exhibit, Big Boy Beefies, investigated diet-based weight gain in beef cows.

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Oliver Herbert, Year 8, was highly commended in the Planet Earth and Beyond category for his exhibit, H20 – Oh No it's all Gone, that investigated how much water could be saved in 30 days across Pirongia Village.

Oliver worked alongside Waipa District Council and concluded that if all residents took four simple measures then 4,321,900 litres could be saved in 30 days.

The four measures included restricting showers to just over 9 minutes long, having shut-off taps, only using the half-flush on toilets and not leaving the tap running while brushing teeth.

Nathan Whiteman, Year 8, was also highly commended in the Living World category for his exhibit, Is Moss the Boss, that investigated if moss absorbs nitrates and phosphate from the water.