This past month, Auburn for Bees (For The Bees) began a new fundraising campaign for our program called “Beeducation.” Within Beeducation, we meet with Auburn city schools children and talk to them about bees, led by our very own director of education Hannah Burke–we had our first session last week!
Last Wednesday in the Student Center, we had a table with the bracelets and our usual “I SPEAK FOR THE BEES” buttons for sale, both $3 each. In just one day, we made around ~$170 in bracelet and button sales! Many people have messaged me and members of the club asking when we will be selling them again so I’m quite optimistic about this fundraiser. We want to create a pollination simulator craft project for when we visit schools, and also have things for them to keep like cute, informational, bee-themed bookmarks.
Last Thursday, we were invited to speak to the Auburn Early Learning Center on campus because they were having a “Creepy Crawly” week and teaching their kids about insects. This was our first Beeducation event of the semester! Adler brought his beekeeping veil for the kids to try on and a honey comb for them to look at. Here’s how the afternoon went, told by Hannah:
We came in & the kids walked in the room holding each others shoulders going buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz buzzzzzz buzzzzz–it was SOOO cute. Then while we were reading the lesson there was a bit of distraction, as expected, but transitions back into the lesson were easy. They were quick to say that bees are their friends and that they love bees. We went over some of their experiences, like seeing them stop at flowers and even describing seeing them in the bushes out side of the building. I asked if they were afraid of bees, and some said yes, but most said no.
When I told them about bees checking them out because their clothing or smells remind them of a flower, some students were filled with joy to be compared to a flower.
When Adler began demonstrating the qualities and tasks of a bee keeper, the students began to understand just how huge our human relationship with bees was. They loved being able to touch the bees wax and propolis (mostly the wax because it was shaped like honey comb) and the students crowded around the smoker playing with the thing that pumps air. They also got to try on the veil and loved it! We did a waggle dance, which one or two students loved. Then they went back to class, buzzing on their way out.
I think this was a great first session of Beeducation, and I’m thankful that the Auburn Early Learning Center invited us. I love this program so much and I’m excited to watch Beeducation blossom from just an idea we had last semester. What surprised me most is how few kids were afraid of bees. I feel like that’s a huge difference from my generation, because I remember being a kid and everyone running for their lives when they saw a bee. It’s great to see that younger generations understand how great bees are.
We are also in the works of creating an Etsy store for the non-Auburn students who want to purchase a button, sticker, or bracelet.