Once again we have started our education programs for young children and decided to start at Labrador State School which is just up the road from where we are based. What a day this turned out to be. We managed to talk to eight classes of children and tell them about the importance of bees, the important role they play in the environment and the impact – positive and negative – we have on these beautiful creatures. We set up just before first break and quickly dropped into one of the year 4 class for a quick Q & A with both the observation hives. There were some amazing questions from them and I have to admit a possible new apprentice or two out of that group. How quick the time went and the bell rang for lunch – I remember when I was in grade 4 the minute the bell rang I would want to get out of the class room to eat straight away but not this group of children! The questions kept rolling in thick and fast. It never ceases to amaze me how children are so keen to learn especially when they have interest, or are curious about a topic. Well done to the kids in 4 L.
While walking with the observation hives back down to where we were doing the talks the reaction of the kids seeing the bees was beyond belief. Before first break was over I would say we had over 150 children around our table looking at the observation hives and telling stories of how they have seen bees on a flower and so on. We were really pumped with the reaction from the kids during first break and could not wait till start our first of many talks to the kids.
Before we knew it we had our first two classes of young children who were amazed with the bees – the reaction was the same time and time again. Over a 30 minute period we talked about our favorite fruit and the important role that bees played to ensure that we would have that fruit to eat. Other topics covered included how they made the honey and the method of getting it out of the hive, where wax came from and different uses of wax and the different types of bees in a hive. (Queen, Worker and Drone).
We even went into the importance of wearing safety equipment when opening up a hive and why one should not go near a hive unless they are with an adult. One of the funniest things we experienced during the talks was the children’s reaction to the large block of wax. Some even said it smelt so good they would like to eat some. At the end of the day we realized the importance of these talks just hearing that the kids were going to plant flowers at home so the bees would have more food to eat, they were also talking about not killing bees anymore because they are so important for us. It was totally worth the hours we put into the day and would do it again without any hesitation. Finally, each class left with a pot of honey to try and the feed back we have received has been really positive. The other funny thing is now when any of these kids see me at the school, kindy or the shops all I hear in a really loud voice is “Look, there is Marty, the bee man!”