Field Trip: Honeybees!

Yesterday we had an indoor field trip/nature study about honeybees. A local beekeeper named Brian, who does presentations at many area schools, came to our church for our homeschool group. He did a great job! We have studied bees before, but Kathryn and I both learned so much!
In Roman times, honey was worth it’s weight in gold, and you could even pay your property taxes with honey! We were reminded of many of the medicinal uses of honey, too. It’s good stuff!
There was a queen bee in there somewhere — from Hawaii! We learned that all of our native varieties of honeybees have been wiped out, so all the ones we have here now have been imported from other places. And the queen bee trade can be pretty lucrative, it seems. His Hawaiian queen bees cost about $50, but queen bees from some areas can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
Watching Honeybees
A few of the kids got to help in the presentation, like this boy (Devin) who modeled the bee suit and pretended to smoke bees. The reason the smoking works is because the bees think there is a forest fire, and gorge on as much honey as they can eat to prepare to fly away to safety. Once their honeybee bellies are so full, they are slow and lazy, and have a very hard time stinging. Sort of like most of us after a big Thanksgiving Dinner.
In the photo below, Brian led the kids in the honeybee dance. (If you find Kathryn in there, note her enthusiastic flying; she isn’t even touching the ground!) Honeybees circle and dance to tell how far the yummy flowers are and how many there are. Scientists say that if all honeybees died, then all life on earth would die within seven years.
Honeybee Dance

As we’ve been telling Lindsey all about it, she says she wishes she went, too. 🙂

Last year I did not accomplish as many field trips as I’d hoped. This year, I want to take advantage of things like this whenever possible. If you’re in the area and want to contact Brian, you can find him at Hometown Honey; I’d highly recommend this — and I plan to visit him soon at the Farmer’s Market on the Marietta Square to buy some local honey!