Monday, September 20, 2010

A Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzy Lab

This month we had our first insect lab on bees. In the past we have studied antlions, praying mantids, mealworms, and other delightful creatures but bees have always fascinated me and I wanted to have a lab on bees for years. This year I decided to take the plunge and dive into the world of bees.

What a journey! Bees are truly amazing. I ordered an observation hiveand got some very busy bees from Rick Humphries.
Rick has a lot of hives and has been doing this for some time. Watch Rick open the hive.

Rick offered to put some of his frames in my observation hive for the children to see,
and hear...This all sounds pretty easy right? Enter Rick's dog... The bee suit eater dog... The dog that ate the bee suit the night before I had to teach the last three labs with 30 students... I arrived at Rick's house the morning of the lab only to find an empty observation hive and no bees to show my students. All I had was a child's bee suit that barely fit over me, never mind Rick's 6 foot frame. How could I go over to all those hives and pull three frames away from an angry bee hive? Well fortunately, Rick pulled on the ripped-up bee suit and went down there anyway to get the bees. Such bravery! Neither one of us got stung, although earlier in the week Rick got stung twice in the back. He didn't seem to mind much as that is all part of the process of bee keeping. Once in a while you are going to get stung.

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