For many moms, bees are something to fear. You know that they can sting, and you don’t want your child to deal with that painful experience. There might also be fear of a bee sting allergy. You worry that these insects might be potentially lethal for your child. Thankfully, most bees are not interested in stinging anybody so long as you leave them alone. For the health of your child and the health of your environment, your child should learn some bee basics.
Why it’s Important
It’s important to learn about bees because they play a vital role in the food supply. While honeybees are known for producing their sweet, sticky treat, the work of all bee species is much broader. Many plants depend on bees and other insects to pollinate and reproduce. This is why we have beautiful flowers in the spring as well as all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and nuts to eat. Without bees flying from flower to flower, there would be no apples, oranges, or almonds to enjoy.
Handling Their Homes
An important lesson to learn about bees is what to do when you find a beehive or nest. For children, the safest answer is to leave them alone. When bees sting, it is usually because they feel that there is a threat to their nest. Animals and people that keep their distance will be safe. Sometimes, a colony of bees will make their nest in an inconvenient place like in a tree near a house. In this case, children should be told to stay away, and you should contact a professional service. You should explain to your child that, due to the declining bee population, you are not going to kill the bees. Most pest control companies won’t destroy nests, but rather relocate them.
Safety Around Bees
Another critical lesson for children is about how to behave around bees. If you teach children to be afraid of bees, they may panic when they see one. However, a child screaming and waving his or her arms around may seem like more of a threat than one who calmly walks away. Children need to know that bees do not want to sting them. In fact, for some species, the sting itself will kill the bee. If children are calm and watch from a distance, bees are not a threat.
If you have flowering plants in your area, you also have bees flying from flower to flower. Watching bees is a great way to learn about the natural world and gain respect for the environment. Teach children to watch calmly from a distance. They will enjoy seeing these busy insects at work.
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