At the North American Beekeeping Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting the mastermind behind the American Beekeeping Federation’s “Kids and Bees” program, Kim Lehman, as well as the current Kids and Bees director, Sarah Red-Laird. It was great to watch these two, high energy inspiring ladies lead their breakout sessions and learn from them.
As we focus on commercial beekeeping, we think it is equally important to give back to the beekeeping community as well as the general population by encouraging knowledge about bees and sustainability.
We offer programs with kids ages 4 and up and tailor our presentations to the ages we’re working with. This includes pre-school presentations, primary school, and special interest groups from museums, zoos, and clubs.
Although we prefer small groups so that we can do some hands-on learning with an observation hive (a sting-free bee experience), we can also present to larger audiences.
Some examples of the topics we discuss are:
The importance of bees and other native pollinators in food production
The biology and anatomy of bees (age appropriate)
The history and importance of beekeeping
The honey bee life cycle and roles within the hive
Steps anyone can take to “save the bees”
General education to encourage a healthy and safe respect for bees
Depending on time, group size, and age, we can also bring the following to the experience:
Observation hive – a live, sting-free bee experience
Microscopes with slides
An interactive game about the roles bees play within their hive
“See Like a Bee” experience – how and why bees find and pollinate flowers
Bee related arts and crafts
As part of the Texas Master Beekeeper program and an active member in the Texas Beekeepers Association, American Beekeeping Federation, and the local Brazos Valley Beekeepers, I pride myself on continuing our education so that we can bring timely information and experiences to our presentations.