The 28th Croydon Beavers Elder colony came to visit Mrs Burney’s Bee Club last week at our apiary in Frylands Wood Scout Camp https://www.frylandswood.co.uk/. This was the first time Mrs Burney has been beekeeping with a scouting group. A fun time was had by all.
Shortly after the the 12 Beavers arrived, I told them all about what to look out for in the hive. We talked about worker bees, drones, eggs, larvae, sealed brood, honey stores and the elusive queen. 👸 The children were so interested and asked some great questions.
Safety Talk and PPE
Next we had the all important safety discussion. I taught them the Mrs Burney’s Bee Club Mantra – Bee Calm, Bee Quiet, Bee Slow. Honey bees are very sensitive to movement and get agitated if they see quick or large movements. They also pick up vibrations through their feet so any sudden movements or loud noises will similarly agitate them. The Beavers understood the safety precautions perfectly and followed the mantra beautifully.
We then got into our bee suits. All the children had come wearing loose fitting trousers and boots. I got the Beavers into their bee suits and thoroughly checked they were bee safe. After I lit the smoker we went through the gate into the apiary. Lots of them felt like space explorers in their suits. 👨🚀
Into the Apiary
While we were at the hives, the kids were amazing. They were inquisitive and interested. They all held a frame of bees to get a really good look at what was happening inside the hive. The only disappointment was that we couldn’t find the queen bee. One of their leaders said ‘Informative, interesting & calming. The Beavers had a fantastic time and will remember today for a long time.’
Lots of the children said that they will be safer around bees and not panic if they come near them. To decrease the likelihood of being stung we teach the children not to wave their arms around and scream.
They all loved the sensory nature of the experience – seeing the bees moving around; listening to the sounds the bees make and, as one child put it, ‘smelling the smells’.
Their leader, Loraine, ordered the group the Bee Challenge badge for them to sew onto their camp blankets. This badge is available for all Scouting groups to buy from Pawprint Family https://pawprintfamily.com/product/bee-challenge/.
How to find out more
If you are interested in booking a bee experience for your Scouting or Guiding group or for any other youth group, contact us through our Bookings page. We can offer experiences for groups of 6 or 12. If your group is larger than that we can do two sessions as part of a day of other activities at Frylands Wood https://www.frylandswood.co.uk/bookings/.