You know as a child I never really cared much for bees. I remember selling candy door to door for school and coming up to a big purple house with lavender bushes in front. Each bush loaded with small bumble bees flying about crazily and bumping into my legs as they buzzed by clumsily. It wracked my nerves and I was sure I was going to get stung. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. I was actually relieved no one came to the door so that I didn't need to stand there any extra time and I wouldn't have to come back to deliver candy to them after they ordered. I was not a fan of stinging insects and certainly not ones that could fly too. My fear came from ignorance though, like fear so often does.
Now as an adult I have come to love bees. Both honey bees and bumble bees. I was thrilled when we moved into our house and I discovered our back yard was filled with happy buzzing wild honey bees and bumble bees. I've run through our yard barefoot on many occasion and only once have I gotten stung. Mind you it was my fault for not watching where I was stepping. The kids have not been stung yet, despite the fact that they catch both honey and bumble bees on a daily basis. Yes, you read that right. My 5yr old started it and I was thoroughly amazed the first time she brought me a bee in the empty bubble bottle with a walnut covering the top to keep it from flying off. She is my little entomologist in the making so I was surprised she was able to capture it without getting stung but not so surprised by the idea of her trying. I was even more surprised when my 4 and 2 yr olds began catching them the same way without getting stung. How many 2yr old kids run around catching bees and don't get stung?
Now you might think the bees would get angry and want to retaliate after this. However these bees are so docile that the kids just remove the walnut while still holding the container and the bees just gracefully fly out, up, and away. It's pretty cool actually. I decided to give their technique a try. All the while I was half expecting that I would get stung doing it. Isn't that how it would work? Well I'm happy to say I did NOT get stung and it was actually surprisingly easy and not scary. When you're watching someone else it looks more risky than it actually is. I feel a lot better about them doing it now that I've tried it myself.
Even if they did get stung it wouldn't be the end of the world though. Everyone has to get stung at some point right? Just one more of life's experiences that we wouldn't be completely whole without. Besides bee stings are NOTHING compared to wasp stings. Did you know bee stings actually contain around 40 different healing properties? A lot of people use bee stings as an alternative treatment for a whole host of different common ailments. It's called apitherapy. You can read about it some here. So maybe we should start saying thanks when we get stung, lol. Okay maybe not but maybe at least not getting to bent out of shape about it anyway. Unless you're allergic that is. ;-)
Bees are so important that we haven't actually done a lesson plan on them yet. I want to make a really good one and maybe a week long thing on them. Although I don't know a week might be a little too much for my kid's attention spans at these ages. Keep an eye on my blog though and you'll see a lesson plan on bees soon. :-)