A few years ago, summer pool lessons turned into a sad time for my Little Princess. As her bare feet padded around the pool, she cried out when accidentally stepping on the exact spot a bee had landed to take a drink.
The stinger that hung from the bottom her foot, which I promptly removed, was no longer attached to the little fuzzy buzzy bee. Sadly, the insect lost its life that day.
Thankfully, Little Princess had no allergic reaction to her first bee sting. But I wondered if this incident would make her forever afraid of bees.
This year, we planned a home school field trip to an apiary. Not only was Little Princess scared of getting stung, my tween kids voiced their concerns of being chased and attacked by a swarm of bees.
Never having been to an apiary, I didn’t know what to expect.
Our tour guide showed us inside the warehouse how the honey is taken from the honey comb frames with a spinning extractor. The honey comb remains and the golden honey pours from a spout via gravity.
Each part of the hive can be made into a bee product. There’s beeswax candles, bee propolis (my favorite new natural home remedy), royal jelly, and even the pollen is sold as a health supplement.
My children stood entranced when we came to an active hive protected by plexi-glass. The bees dancing on the other side felt like our visits to “Terrors of the Deep” at Sea World. Despite the Mako sharks circling overhead, the clear tunnel barrier gave us much needed security.
When we reached home, I had purchased a literal gallon of honey, some propolis, royal jelly, and the kids received a few honey hard candies for free. On top of that they seemed less afraid of bees.
Being educated about what we are afraid of helps us have peace. Books are a good way to impart knowledge with a little bonding time thrown in. After reading, The Honey Makers together, my Little Princess sat pondering and concluded, “Thank God for the bees.”
The Honey Makers by Gail Gibbons
Here’s another bee book to help kids learn the importance of our little honey-making pollinating friends.
The Beautiful Bee Book by Sue Unstead
Without bees, flowers couldn’t pollinate, seeds couldn’t germinate, and crops would not bear fruit. Instead of fearing our fuzzy friends, let’s find ways to protect them for generations to come. Protecting bees can be made possible by bringing awareness, using less pesticides, and buying from sustainable farms.
Have a bee-utiful day with your family as you share books about the importance of bees!