Thursday, May 17, 2012

Talking Bees with Little People

My good friend Mara hooked me up to talk to a group of kindergartners about honey bees. What fun! I was clearly the culminating point of some serious honey bee curriculum. These kids knew all about bees and I am pretty sure I didn't tell them anything they didn't already know.

You might think no big deal, she's a pediatric nurse but I was a nervous nellie for days before the big event. You see, I don't actually know much about healthy kids. Give me a sick one and I am perfectly comfortable, I know exactly how to deal with them. I can connect with a sick child with skill, grace and ease but the healthy ones, well not so much. Trust me they are not the same at all! On top of that I was really worried they were going to ask about mating and I just didn't quite know how to tell them about the promiscuous queen whoring herself in the sky with several unvetted drones who leave their parts in the queen as a souvenir. Lucky me, their teacher had already covered that topic and they were far more interested in the show and tell items to be worried about a slutty queen.

The bee suites were a big hit and so was the smoker. The kids wanted nothing more than to try on the suit and use the smoker. Tina helped me put dead bees inside some queen cages that I passed around. Mostly they wanted to know about getting stung and sharing their own stories about bees. Some just wanted to tell me about playing soccer after school, or what they were having for lunch never mind the bee stuff. I showed them some slides, one in particular got a great reaction:

I also showed them a candle my beekeeping partner made two years ago from wax we collected throughout the summer and of course a sample of the honey. They all got to enjoy some apples and gluten-free pretzels to dip into little cups of honey. Now you would have thought the honey was best part of the talk and for a few kids it was as I watched them lick the cups clean. Most of all they just really enjoyed putting on the bee suit and telling me they were professional beekeepers.

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