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Posted 12 Oct 18

Engaging Children In Beekeeping Lasts A Lifetime

by Ali Foster

Recent research reports children ages 8-18 spend 6 hours or more with electronics. Getting children outdoors and away from technology, and participate in beekeeping is winning combination. It's important to keep future generations informed about the importance of bees in the ecosystem. If we can get kids engaged and motivated, we can see the rise of more conservation, and learning about beekeeping will give them the changes to understand how nature works. Later on in adulthood, there's a greater chance they might take up beekeeping as a hobby.

Kids and Beekeeping

There are numerous ways of getting kids involved in beekeeping; it can be as easy as taking them to a location or farm with an apiary to watch how the bees work, learn how to collect honey, or getting them involved in creating things from beeswax. Learning about the beekeeping process also teaches children about how bees are vital to pollination, and gives them a chance to understand where their food comes from. The BuzzWorks Discovery Centre offers schools the opportunity to take kids to an exhibition on honeybees, a bee-friendly garden, an observation bee-hive and apiary. They also offer the opportunity for activities such as flower pressing, honey-tasting, and candle making. The Broomley Bee Project, in Tyne Valley, Northumberland, also offers the opportunity for children to get into nature and learn about beekeeping. They can tailor the program to meet specific needs of individual schools.

Becoming A Part Of Nature

Getting kids into nature offers them a stress free environment where they can explore, offers many benefits. Most of the studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors. To get kids out into nature there are options available to report sightings of bees, with programs such as the "Spot a Bee" in Cardiff offering the option to take pictures and send in reports of locations where bees have been. Other programs target specific species, like bumblebees, and work to gather a picture of their environment and what plants they're attracted to.

Another way to have them help is to let them create their own garden at home, planting flowers which will offer beautiful smelling flowers, and planting vegetables or herbs to use in your kitchen. Help the children create a bee hotel in your garden, by using hollow stems like bamboo, twigs and string. You would just tie together a length of these and put them in a hedge or bush, or hang somewhere sheltered.

Ensure The Future

To keep them engages in beekeeping and nature, encourage your children to reach out to the local authorities, to suggest bee friendly plants in public places. Have a beekeeper talk to them about their job and what they do for the bees, encouraging them to consider the idea of making beekeeping a hobby. If beekeeping is not a job that suits them, having a beekeeper place a hive in your garden might be the trick to keep your children engaged in nature.

 

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