Saturday, August 24, 2013

Field Trip to Kevin's Bees

We are super lucky, because one of Sam's coworkers keeps bees, and he said we could come visit his hives! We were SO excited, and then there was a lot of anticipation because this field trip was put off a couple times---once for a rainstorm, and once for sickness. So by the time we actually got to the bees, we'd been waiting a couple weeks!

Kevin and his wife Heather are the nicest beekeepers ever. They told us lots of interesting things about bees and beekeeping, and then best of all, they let the older boys suit up in a beekeeper's suit and help check inside the hives!! It was pretty much the coolest thing they have ever done.

Before we opened up the hives, we all went over to have a closer look. We stayed to the side, since bees don't like people blocking the path to their hive's entrance.

We could see the Guard Bees standing faithfully at their posts

Kevin demonstrated how to use the smoker, and showed us how to pump slowly so the smoke wouldn't be too hot.

Abe suited up first. We had to use some twine to hold up his pants! :) We hadn't come prepared with long pants because we didn't know we'd get to get so close to the bees!

Abe holding the smoker and letting smoke out to calm the bees

Kevin pulled off the supers one by one to check the honey inside.

He showed us the bees on their comb, and the wax caps covering the honey cells. The older boys also got to see brood cells and a few drones.

Queen cells on the side of the frames

Some comb Kevin pulled off the edge of one of the frames

Seb helps check the other hive

Another beautiful piece of comb

An unfortunate end (or perhaps you could say, the perfect end) to this awesome day was when Daisy and then Junie both got stung! We stayed far away from the hives with them, but somehow they got stung anyway. Maybe it was the bright colors they wore (bees find white and neutrals more calming). But Daisy had been SO excited to wear her bee shirt and bee hair clip. The saddest thing was after she got stung (on the back of her neck), she was crying and saying, "But I thought the bees would LOVE me!" We finally convinced her that the bees DID love her; they just got so excited that one of them stung her accidentally. :)  I read that bees release a pheromone when they sting that other bees smell and think "danger"---so then they are more likely to sting too. I'm guessing that's why Junie got stung after Daisy did---the bees were excited by the first sting. Who knows.

Anyway, luckily we're all very resilient and don't have any allergies to bee stings (that we know of), so we rubbed some witch hazel on the girls' stings and they felt better within 10 minutes. By the time we got home, everyone was talking fondly about the bees and the "poor bees" that died when they stung the girls, and asking if we could go back and visit again soon. :)

I was excited when I brushed off Junie's sting site because I could see a bee's stinger fall into my hand (which I've never seen before). I thought this would be a better picture but I guess the stinger is just too tiny. Here is a better picture of a stinger, for your enjoyment.

Sebby and Malachi played beekeeper for the next several days :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...