Many beekeepers are interested in introducing their children to beekeeping. This is a wonderful opportunity to engage in an activity the whole family can enjoy, all while creating an interest in beekeeping that can be passed along to the next generation.
Here are the Top 5 ways to spark your kids’ interest in Beekeeping
1. Knowing the Difference Makes a Difference – Teach kids the difference between honey bees and other insects, like yellow jackets, wasps, bumble bees and hornets. Often times, kids are fearful of all flying “bees” but this is because they misidentify the different types. Honey bees are out looking for nectar and pollen, and are not the bees that are disturbing your picnic. If you can teach kids to spot honey bees, they will forever be in awe of their gentle behavior when foraging for nectar or pollen.
2. Knowledge is Power – Honey bees are fascinating creatures and the source of endless education. Whether kids are interested in bee biology, colony behavior, beekeeping as a hobby or just interested in where honey comes from, the amount of information is limitless. GloryBee carries many books that might be of interest for kids including: Jump Into Science: Honey Bees, The Life Cycle of a Honeybee or even Beekeeping for Dummies.
3. Hands-On Experiences – Bees are like pets in the sense that they need care and attention to truly thrive. We recommend the proper protective apparel for children so they feel comfortable in approaching the beehives. GloryBee offers youth beekeeping suits, youth beekeeping jackets, and youth gloves. Some of the tasks children can accomplish include mixing the sugar water during feeding season, assisting with smoking bees, keeping the smoker going, helping with other equipment in the bee yard and assisting during extraction time.
4. Kids Just Want to Have Fun – Beekeeping may be a science, but there are many ways to make it fun and exciting. For instance, teaching kids about the “waggle dance” that bees perform when coming back to the hive is always an amusing activity. This teaches kids how bees communicate with each other when they return to the hive after collecting nectar or pollen. The more vigorous the dance, the higher the likelihood other bees will follow their suggestion. Kids love to perform the “waggle dance” and teach their friends as well. Other fun activities include “Pollen Transfer” relay races, craft projects and silly bee songs – websites such as Pinterest and YouTube have all kinds of fun ideas to teach your kids all about bees and beekeeping.
5. Food for Thought – With so many crops pollinated by honey bees, it is easy to teach kids to appreciate the wide variety of foods they eat. Crops like apples, cranberries, melons, broccoli blueberries and almonds are among the many crops pollinated by bees. What would your plate of food look like if there were no honey bees? Healthy living starts with eating healthy and honey bees help us have the food we need to be our best.
Whether you have children who are interested in beekeeping or just curious about honey bees, there are many activities that will inform and educate kids on the importance of our favorite pollinators, the honey bee!