Friday, June 22, 2012

Uncle Jer's Bee Show

Learning about Bees and Bee Keeping with Uncle Jer

Our local library has generated summer programs for the children in our area. The first, which recently ended was a story time once a week on Thurs.
The second, which has proven to be much more interactive also engages the minds of the adults who choose to attend as well.

Yesterday’s program was Uncle Jer’s Bee Show.

I must admit I was more excited than Mr. A because I love bees. They are so beneficial.
The program was entertaining and informational although it did start off on the wrong foot. I walked in excitedly (those of you who know me can picture this). I started asking questions and somewhere in my nonstop verbiage I uttered the words “medicated”. Now mind you my knowledge of bees is very limited so I was only repeating something I had read or heard, but Uncle Jer jumped on that word expostulating “I beg your pardon“,  BUT….

Needless to say my bubble was popped and I shrank away to my seat wishing I could just go home. I stayed though and found his wife to be quite charming and the program to “bee” enjoyable and filled with fun facts.

The program began with a colourful Powerpoint presentation created and  narrated by Ms. Jer. Throughout the presentation I was rewarded with little nuggets of information to tuck away in my brain cells.
For example:
* Honey in Nepal is collected much like it has been in the past by the past. Read more by clicking here:  THE HONEY HUNT OF THE TIGER-MEN

* Bees have jobs, ie Queen, Queen’s attendants, housekeepers, nursemaids, gatherers, drones, bees to fan the hive to cool it down. (they can keep the temperature in the hive several degrees lower than the temperature outside.

* When a queen is need a “special larger cells is built and the grub that grows within it is fed royale jelly.

* Their jobs dictate their life span; Queens live 3 – 7 years, workers 40 days, drones 2 weeks.

* Drones have no stinger, must be cared for and do absolutely nothing but live and one procreate.

* Bees do a dance to tell the other bees when they have found a cache of nectar flowers
* Bees are responsible for 80% of the pollination of our food plants.

* A bee must visit 2,000,000 flowers to produce 1 pound of honey.
* A bee travels about 55,000 miles to gather enough nectar to produce 1 pound of honey.

* This is equal to about 11 round trips from New York to San Francisco!

* 3 pounds of bees equals about 15,00 bees.

* There are over 300 flavors of honey in the US.
* If you have allergies eat honey made from the pollen of the plant you are allergic to.

* If you encounter bees, “bee” calm! Bees can detect fear and will “become” agitated.

* Beeswax is excreted through glands in the abdomen.

*Nursery bees feed the grubs “bee bread”.
* Bees are more likely to sting in the fall as they are a little grumpier due to the lack of pollen.

* If stung seek help immediately. Call the fire department if necessary because the first half hour is the most important. Just because you have been stung before does not exempt you for anaphylactic shock. Uncle Jer’s sister had been stung before and yet at 53 she was stung and did require an epi pen>

* Uncle Jer suggests removing the stinger and applying mud, me I use baking soda.
Uncle and Ms Jer entertained the children with bee puppets. I found Uncle Jer to be a little loud, he made me jump a couple of times, but maybe I am being critical because of our earlier interfacing.


Many different tools are used in beekeeping:
* Bee boxes to keep the honey combs in
* Netted hat protection from bee stings
* Smoker with bellows, used to calm the bees before removing the honeycombs.
* Hive knife, heated it is used to remove the wax caps from the honeycomb before the honey is extracted.

* Extractor to remove to honey from the combs (which are then returned to the bees so they can refill them with honey.
After the program was over the children could go up to ask questions.
Mr. A definitely seemed to find the worth his time and went up afterwards to have his questions answered.
Each child received a honey stick and an activity booklet.

Uncle Jer and his wife have an informational web site establish. Here is a link that will provide some educational and craft links about bees. After going to this link scroll down the page. The selection of links are on the left side.
Uncle Jers crafts and info

and remember "Bee Good"  :)

No comments:

Post a Comment