This weekend we spent some time with great grandparents. During this time talk turned to Justin’s grandpa’s honey bee hives. An ongoing project, his grandfather owns three hives in a suburb of Detroit. These three hives have thousands of bees that produce a modest amount of honey each year.
My husband got the opportunity to go out with his grandpa to smoke the beehive in order to harvest some of the honey. This was a great chance to talk with our daughter about PPE, also known as Personal Protective Equipment, as well as the benefits of bees. We were inside a netted pavilion so were safe from the bees that were not affected by the smoke, but our little one really wanted to go outside and help. We talked about the suit that her dad was wearing and how it kept him safe from the bees that were trying to protect their home.
Once the slat of honey comb was removed from the hive it was covered in bees. Justin’s grandpa gently brushed the insects back into the hive. His system is set up so that honeycombs can be made on plastic inserts and then lifted out in full. This insert had honeycomb on both sides of the plastic. We took the insert inside, pulled out a spoon and gave our little one a taste of the honey in the honeycomb. She loved the freshness and even the comb (she didn’t like the waxy caps on the ends of the honeycomb, don’t blame her there!).
Find your family somewhere they can experience the positive-side of bees and other misunderstood pollinators. So often kiddos hear about how dangerous these little critters can be when in reality they need more advocates. Check out your local bee farmers to find out more about the importance of pollinators.