Have you ever thought about teaching your kids, grandchildren, a young family friend, or even a class at a local elementary school about honey bees? Well, I have! I love going into elementary classrooms and teaching the youth about honey bees. They are our next generation of bee keepers, farmers, scientists, and researchers so we need to get them excited early.
When I go and talk to a classroom of students I make sure to always bring a few things with me:
- My bee suit – it gets their attention and gets them involved because they love to put it on.
- Honey – for them to try.
- Teaching hive or empty new deep with frames – our department is lucky enough to have a teaching hive, but a new clean box with new frames would be fine too. This way they get to see what the comb and frames.
- Bee glasses – our lab bought a fun pair of glasses that let you see your surroundings like a honey bee.
- Honey bees! – I always bring a few honey bees (in alcohol or alive) so they can see the difference in size of the drone, worker, and queen.
Basic topics I go over:
- Hive structure
- Honey & nectar
You can also find many free online resources, such as books, coloring pages, information sheets, and stories. My favorite book is The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive by Joanna Cole & Bruce Degen.
If you can get a young mind excited about honey bees they may be able to get their siblings, parents, and family excited about saving our honey bees. This month take some time and try to teach a child about honey bees, and post back on my blog what you learned about teaching beekeeping while teaching little ones about honey bees.