A few weeks ago, I'm talking to one of our regulars at Gibsons Natural Grocer, when she invites Aaron and I to speak at her school! Immediately my mind starts working, coming up with ideas of what to say, what to bring, how to make bee keeping interesting to four and five year olds.
The night before, I'm gathering some materials, making honey straws for the kiddos (which my sealer stops working and wasn't able to make enough! Hmph!). I insist that Aaron do all the talking. He knows the most, he's the most experienced and in the same breath I'm asking what he's going to say, making sure he has a good intro...basically writing him a script. Ha! I simply wanted to make sure it was going to be the very best bee talk.
The morning of, he texts me saying "The observation hive isn't going to work". WHAT. NO. IT MUST WORK. I call him, he's up to his elbows in bees, getting stung, trying to hold a phone to his head with gloves and a bee jacket on. "Please, can you try one more time to put a frame into the observation hive?" I plead. We HAVE to have it! The kids will love it!
I collect my supplies and meet Kacy at the Lincoln Parish Early Childhood Center. The time of the presentation is approaching, and I haven't heard from Aaron. I envision him wrangling and wrestling the bees like the crocodile hunter. Literally, as the children are walking in, Aaron strides in with his bee suit (and mine) with observation hive in tow. He sets the hive on our table along with the other supplies, including a smoker, fresh flowers, some fruits and veggies, raw wax and honey.
They introduce us. I look to Aaron, queuing the intro I prepared for him. I know he feels kind of silly with what I suggested and wouldn't have done it the same way. So I take the liberty of starting with "How many of you have been stung by a bee, raise your hand...". We explain how bees help pollinate our food, flowers, and trees. We go over the useful things bees produced like honey and wax. We also talk about the different bees in the hive and their duties. Answering questions and I think I hear one of the kids call Aaron Mr. Beard. How precious! As the classes walk out, they excitedly view the observation hive and receive a bottle of Jennings Apiaries honey to taste.
Beekeeping, even as a beginner, has been a gratifying experience thus far (which is a whole other blog post). To be able to share what I'm learning about the bees and why they are such great insects is humbling and so fulfilling. Kacy surprised me the next day with a children's book she read to her class, signed! It's such a great book. Not only does it have a great story but also a section in the back full of bee facts. As Aaron and I continue to keep bees, I hope we are able to constantly share and learn from others.