Honey bee education for kids has never been this much fun. A general knowledge of parental mathematics will provide an individual with one definite answer to a formula whereby kids are added to honey to equal a sticky mess. But at Spiral Horn Apiary, where honey bees and honey is our specialty, Kids’ Day was anything but a sticky mess. Even the snack break of honey cake was no match for what Spiral Horn Apiary had in store for these youngsters.
With eager minds the eighteen children gathered around to learn the science behind the honey bee. Learning how a honey bee forages for nectar, how a honey bee interacts with their siblings within the colony, duties of particular honey bees, and the anatomy of the insect were all discussed before the great reveal. To the kid’s surprise, a live hive was buzzing away right underneath their noses as they were being busy bees themselves. The observation hive was revealed and the children gathered around closely, rather closely I might add, for a peek into the work of a honey bee. Using the information just presented, the protégées of apiculture identified the queen, workers, and drones.
Learning how a beekeeper takes care of their honey bees included a demonstration of hive assembly and frame construction. Frames have a foundation of wax, which the bees draw out to make honeycomb. The students found this piece of information particularly interesting and enjoyed getting to see a hive box dissembled, getting the chance to peer in to the interior. Seeing the function of each component of the hive called for students to draw upon information reviewed in the demonstration about honey bees, inferring the functional construction of the hives with the production of honey.
Next in the line up, was a demonstration of how Spiral Horn Apiary extracts honey from frames in the honey house. The children were fascinated with the mechanics of the product assembly side of beekeeping. They gazed inquisitively at the machinery that uncaps the wax from the frames, the centrifuge that extracts honey from the frames, and the sump / pump that moves honey to storage for bottling. Honey sold in jars for consumption was an obvious end for one part of the honey bees’ work, but what happens to all of the wax? Looking to fully engage the kids, Sara, Mark’s eldest daughter and sales manager for the company, gave an instructional demonstration on how lip balm is made using beeswax. Among the other products designated for skin care, the lip balm included only all natural ingredients and 100% pure beeswax.
Full of knowledge of our winged friends the kiddos said their goodbyes and thanked Mark for sharing his knowledge of beekeeping with them. The day of honey bee education for kids had been a success. Eager to share their new knowledge with friends, the kids buckled up for the car ride home.
If you are interested in a special honey bee education for your group of kids, please contact us. We also offer formal beekeeping classes each spring and fall. See our Beekeeping Class schedules and descriptions for more information.