Beekeeper Rock Star

Who ever thinks that self-gratification is somehow more rewarding than service to others has never taken 20,000 stinging insects into a 7th grade science class.

I recently took my newly built Ulster observation hive (click here for building instructions) with 5 frames of bees into a local elementary school.  I had a PowerPoint presentation called Thank a Bee which was mostly images and few words.  I talked about the difference between bees and wasps, how to remove a stinger, and how to escape Africanized Honey Bees.  I followed that with several slides showing how gentle bees can be and how their pollination enables the food we love.  I finished it with some photos of young people wearing bee beards!  The presentation  was about 20 minutes with 10 minutes for questions and 10 minutes for close viewing of the hive, putting on the beekeeper’s jacket, and inspecting other bee stuff. Each of the two class presentations went fast.

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What I got back was worth much more than my investment.  The two classes were really engaged and the kids asked a lot of really good questions.  If that were not enough, today I received 56 hand written thank you letters!  I’ve included four of them as a sampling.

This is just another one of many diverse rewards that beekeeping delivers. In addition to protecting insects that pollinate our food, beekeepers can inspire and entertain young people.  In the eyes of 7th graders,  beekeepers are rock stars.  Who wooda thunk it?

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