As members of COBA‘s Community Education Committee, we get the awesome privilege of teaching people about bees. Of course, our favorite groups are preschool and elementary ages- they are so eager to learn and it is important to teach them the importance of the honey bee at an early age. We have great resources available to us, including large pictures of bees, a sample mini-hive, and an observation hive in which we place a frame of our own live bees for observation.
Last month we presented to a homeschool co-op near Reynoldsburg, and also took the opportunity to present to Linus’s preschool class. Usually Andy and I do this together, but since he was busy I flew solo.
Our goal is to teach the groups what makes a honeybee special- the three different types (queen, worker, drone) and what each one does, and most importantly, that honeybees won’t sting unless they are provoked. Also, every third bite of food we eat is possible because a honeybee pollinated the crop.
Andy had the great idea last year to include our own props, so we raided the kids dress up clothes and came up with hats and bottles and such to help the kids learn the different roles. Each worker can be a nurse or a nectar gatherer or a construction worker or a cleaner. Some kids can be flowers or a predator or one of the drones. But most exciting is to get to be the queen!
The kids were super attentive. This was a group of 4-5 year olds.
We always encourage lots of question asking.
And of course we have to bring samples of honey to try! We have some of our spring honeysuckle left from last year, along with our local wildflower honey, and we asked if the kids could tell the difference. We hope to will extract here in a couple of weeks to have honey available to sell for 2012.
The presentation ends with the kids watching the bees in the observation hive. They are truly mesmerized.