Bees Are As Sweet as the Honey They Make
Kids of all ages love Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends in 100 Acre Woods. The silly bumbling bear that keeps getting trapped in that honey pot. And just as sweet as him, is the honey he loves. Honey is delicious and a great natural sweetener – and is made completely by bees. For kids, bees can be a bit scary for kids. A few years ago, I started keeping bees in our back yard – yes, in the middle of a metro-Detroit neighborhood! Our neighbors don’t mind, and even when kids are running around in our back yard the bees happily work and leave everyone alone.
Introducing Kids to Bees
When we first brought the bees to our back yard my nephew was scared of bees. This is something I hear from parents a lot, their kids are afraid of bees. But the biggest confusion comes in when parents use the term bee to describe anything like wasps, bees, needle wasps etc. They look similar but definitely shouldn’t be confused. Honey bees, bumblebees and other pollinators only bite or sting when they feel like they are under attack. Where wasps will bite for no reason at all.
My nephew, and several other kids have come to our back yard, not only to play but to see the bees. We make sure they’re completely protected with a veil but let them get up close and personal with the bees. The smile says it all, not only have we been able to teach kids that bees are actually their friends but gentle and sweet creatures.
Five Facts about Honey Bees
There are Boy Bees and Girl Bees – and of course the Queen Bee!
Like any any other animal or insect (which bees qualify as both) there are boy bees and girl bees. The queen bee does all of the egg laying, has her attendants and worker bees. But the boy bees play a special part – they are called “drones” and are considered the “brute squad”. They protect the hive by beating up predators and tossing them out of the hive. How can you tell a drone? Their eyes are bigger (like in the image above) and they actually don’t have stingers! We’re not saying try to catch one, but if you do – you can pet them!
Bee Hives Can Have Thousands in each Hive
Each year we start our hive with a package of about 3 lbs of bees (around 5000 bees) and a new queen. By the end of the summer, a healthy hive will range between 40,000 to 80,000 bees!
They Travel For Food and Water
Yes, the Hive is their home, but bees fly up to 5 miles away to forage for pollen and nectar to make honey. They look for clusters of plants and freshly bloomed flowers. The heat of the sun warms up the center of flowers and that’s how bees find them – darker colored centered flowers will bring in more bees!
Bees Dance and that’s how they Communicate
Have you ever heard of a bee dance? Bees actually dance in the hive, or really wiggle their butts as they move around and point in the direction of the latest nectar they found. They are able to tell other bees where some new flowers are blooming and other things. This helps them send more workers to gather more and fill up the honey they need for the cold winter months coming their way!
Bees are Great at Controlling their Hive’s Temperature
From Bearding (creating a cluster outside of the hive) to creating a cluster – bees use their skills and their bodies to keep the hive regulated. You can often find bees at the outside of the hive on a hot day fanning the entrance helping to cool off the inside of the hive. And in the winter? The bees lock their legs together and create a ball around the center of the hive and the queen – keeping it a balmy 90 degrees even on the coldest of days!
Want to Introduce Your Kids to Bees?
You can find bees at different festivals including the Michigan Renaissance Festival! Some of our favorites are hosted by Bees in the D including a kid friendly event on August 4th! Check out their Bee Events Listing
Looking to find a local bee keeper or learn more about bees in your area? You can find more info at the South East Michigan Beekeeper Association
Excited to see Christopher Robin? Find out More about the movie below!
Christopher Robin Movie Poster:
About Christopher Robin:
In the heartwarming live action adventure Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” the young boy who embarked on countless adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood with his band of spirited and lovable stuffed animals, has grown up and lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin remember the loving and playful boy who is still inside.
Now grown up, Christopher Robin is stuck in a job where he is overworked, underpaid and facing an uncertain future. He has a family of his own, but his work has become his life, leaving little time for his wife and daughter. Christopher has all but forgotten his idyllic childhood spent with a simple-minded, honey-loving stuffed bear and his friends. But when he is reunited with Winnie-the-Pooh, now tattered and soiled from years of hugs and play, their friendship is rekindled, reminding Christopher of the endless days of childlike wonder and make believe that defined his youth, when doing nothing was considered the very best something. Following an unfortunate mishap with Christopher Robin’s briefcase, Pooh and the rest of the gang including Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger, step out of the forest and venture into London to return the crucial possessions…because best friends will always be there for you.
Disney’s “Christopher Robin” is directed by Golden Globe® nominee Marc Forster (“Finding Neverland”) from a screenplay by Alex Ross Perry (“Golden Exits”) and Oscar® nominee Allison Schroeder (“Hidden Figures”) and a story by Perry based on characters created by A.A. Milne. The producers are Brigham Taylor and Kristin Burr with Renée Wolfe and Jeremy Johns serving as executive producers. The film stars Golden Globe winner Ewan McGregor (“Fargo”) as Christopher Robin; Golden Globe nominee Hayley Atwell (“Agent Carter”) as his wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; and Emmy® winner Mark Gatiss (“Sherlock”) as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. The film also features the voices of: Jim Cummings (“Winnie the Pooh”) as Winnie-the-Pooh; Chris O’Dowd (“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”) as Tigger; three-time Emmy winner Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as Eeyore; Golden Globe nominee Toby Jones (“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”) as Owl; Nick Mohammed (“The Martian”) as Piglet; Oscar winner Peter Capaldi (“Dr. Who”) as Rabbit;
and Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo (“The Secret Life of Bees”) as Kanga.
Disney has a history with the A.A. Milne characters dating back to 1966 when the studio released the animated short “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree” featuring the character Christopher Robin, which was followed by the shorts “Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day” and “Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too,” as well as several full-length features and numerous direct-to-DVD titles.
Disney’s “Christopher Robin” will be released nationwide August 3, 2018.