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Bees in the Yard

Natural Kids: Bees in the Yard

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bees in the Yard




BEES! They hum from flower to flower once spring arrives... and honeybees also make the honey we eat. There is a resurgence in beekeeping and many families are now keeping bees again, or thinking about it. Here is a little overview with photos by Ulla of German Dolls (except the pic above by me):

One look at honeycomb and the desire to start beekeeping goes up exponentially! Honey, honeycomb, wax, and propolis are the wonderful benefits of keeping honeybees. There are other ways to tend bees, but I will just stick to the classic honeybee for now.

To keep honeybees shortlist: 1. A place to keep bees, like your yard (unless someone close by has an allergy to bee stings!). 2. A hive and frames. 3. Safety equipment (gloves & mask good idea, especially for beginners). 4. Bees (you can order in the mail, find online) 5. Other equipment for checking bees (smoker), cleaning frames, maintenance; like removing honey! 6. Time; you will need to have time to learn about your bees as well as spending 1-on-1 with them.
This is just a shortlist!


After learning about bees and if they are a good fit for you, you will need to have a hive clean and ready for your bees arrival. Above is a homemade hive; you can make or buy hives in shapes and sizes. The most common is a box frame with frames that can be easily removed on the inside, as they can also be stacked like you often see if farmer's fields. Beekeeping season is essentially spring to autumn.


The worker bees fly off from the platform to go find nectar. They return and show other bees where to find it.


The bees are moving into their new home. The box you see in the picture, is the cage that the bee folk arrive in. You simply pour the bees into the hive. The queen comes in a separate little cage.


The queen and her workers will spend a few days chewing through a piece of marshmallow trying to unite! The presence of the queen will make the new bee hive stick around and start building.


The queen is usually marked with a dot so you know if she is still around. Get to know your bees, especially the Queen. Hives need a Queen to survive.




And, check them again... but not too often, they don't like being disturbed constantly.




The fruits of keeping honeybees!



FAQ: Is it safe to keep bees around kids, like in your back yard? Absolutely! If someone has an allergy in your family or in the neighbourhood then possibly not (do check in with the neighbours!). When I learned beekeeping living in Holland my mentor had a teensy backyard with a bunch of hives, and 6 kids running around, and felt totally safe with that.



Speaking of running around... if you're worried about being stung then MOVE SLOW! Bees are are agitated by fast, flapping arms, and the like.



Thank you Ulla for sharing your photos!!

This article was brought to you by Natalie of Woolhalla


Find "BEE" treasures on Etsy from the NaturalKids Team (top left to bottom right): Boston Beanies, Driaa, Fairyfolk, GermanDolls, Harvest Moon By Hand, Prettydreamer, The Enchanted Cupboard.

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7 Comments:

Blogger mrsbeccijo said...

Love the bees! Another great tip for kids around bees is to get them to sing a made up thank you song when ever they see the bees helps them not get upset!
"Thank you bees for the honey, thank you bees for the flowers and the fruit"

May 26, 2011 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger MuddyFeet said...

@mrsbeccijo - What a great idea!

Love the bees, and absolutely adore the honey they make! My mouth was watering looking at that honeycomb!

May 26, 2011 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Dria said...

Thanks for this article !
I was just thinking last week we should learn how to keep bees, so this article came just in time!!

May 26, 2011 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Rachel/ OAST Waldorf dolls said...

Our family is very keen to start keeping bees. We didn't know if it was a possibility because the farm we live is chemical and we were worried they would die with the spray. Apparently not... let the research begin!

May 26, 2011 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Joshua V. said...

I love this post. growing up we had bees for a few years and I was pleasantly surprised to discover how peaceful they really are. They rarely sting unless aggressively provoked (or stepped on)

May 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Rachel Cunliffe said...

We recently bought this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Beekeepers-Bible-Honey-Recipes-Other/dp/1584799188

I highly recommend it - it is a beautiful book with absolutely everything you need to know about bee-keeping, honey and bees.

May 26, 2011 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger germandolls said...

I love the beepicture you added! Great closeup!

May 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM  

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