New Beekeepers

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by cow pollinater, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Howdy all,
    I haven't been around in awhile and it's good to be back. I've been asked to lead a 4H/FFA group through a beekeeping project. I'm expecting around ten kids.
    Have any of you done anything similar? I've got a decent plan together but if I'm in for a disaster that you've been through that I can't see from here I'd sure like to know about it.

    A specific question: If you had your choice, would you teach youngsters with gentle bees that die because today is Thursday, or somewhat testy bees that have proven that they can handle sheer neglect?
    I want the kids to succeed and I'd prefer that they learn to do it without hanging pest strips but I'm not comfortable having them around my un-treated stock.
     
  2. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I haven't stood on your side of the fence yet but, I have been the one being taught for a while and I am glad that I started out with testy bees and gentle bees. I learned alot from each one and I could compare them to each other so it was easier for me to get comfortable in the bees and really start learning. So maybe you could take the kids in some of both hives.
     

  3. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ditto. Teach them that the bees are not always gonna be the same temperament.

    PS. Glad you're back. Don't let it be so long this time.
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have been thinkin' I hadn't seen you in quite some time... good to see your post.

    good question... my first exposure to beekeeping was to german black bees as a preview to taking bees on as a 4-H project. I guess I don't need to describe the defensive behavior of the german bees, but at the end of the day they did not discourage me from keeping bees. even testy bees should be better now simply because the protective gear is better than mine was 50 years ago <still embarrassed 50 years later. checking and rechecking the protective gear (the buddy system is good to employ here) is essential for the new beekeeper to have an acceptable introduction to bee keeping.

    I do think I would suggest something for the younger set a bit milder than the german bees as an introduction to beekeeping. I am not certain what you have there in California cow pollinator but my cordovan here mated with good varroa resistant stock is something I try to encourage the new beekeeper to try.

    we do a full blown bee school in Brenham Texas every year and the same concern has crossed my mind. as I dismantle the president of the clubs hives invariable one will be queenless or extremely hostile. rather than create an incident I simply slam the lid on such hives at the first evidence they are in a foul mood.

    merry christmas to you bro

    ps... were you the person using a dog water for 'pot' feeding hives?
     
  5. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That would be me.
     
  6. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

    Messages:
    1,053
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    interesting.... care to share more info?

    and I second what WBB said about exposure to both gentle bees, and some that are bit more assertive being a great way to begin learning.... just learning to listen for the cues from the different hives was great learning experience.
     
  7. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sure... I always open feed since time is a huge factor for me during any time of the year that I need to be feeding. I was losing tons of bees that would drown when feeding in an open bucket with floating sticks so I rigged up a spigot on a bucket and attatched an automatic dog waterer that I filled with gravel up to the water line. You lose a few to fighting but they don't drown. It workes well with 1/1 but I have a hunch it would plug up with 2/1.
    Another one that I'm going to try is a sweat barrel. I'm going to drill a bunch of pinprick holes in a steel drum and then wrap it in something similar to carpet and let the bees drink out of the material and see if the added surface area helps consumption.
     
  8. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    And thanks for the replies everyone, I think what I'll do is start them with the gentle-ish ones here at the house(which are probably fairly closely related to tec's bees since they're cordovan breeder queen mommy's mated to his neighbors drones) and bring in a bad one or two to show them how much fun it can be. The bad ones are still workable but they don't let you make mistakes. :roll:
     
  9. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well good luck CP! and let us know how it goes.
     
  10. cow pollinater

    cow pollinater New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well, the first meeting went fairly well. We just did an introduction today where I covered some basics and touched on some stuff like mating and bee communication and navagation... The kids were fairly interested but I think the DADS are HOOKED. :thumbsup: The last hour of the meeting consisted of lots of kids looking at their shoes while I answered questions about pollination, genetics, disease,etc from the parents.
     
  11. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I guess I should have told you, kids attention spans are short, twenty minutes and they are in another world.
    If you make a statement, go to the kids and let them expand on it, then go to the next short item and get their opinion.
    It's hard to teach, when kids would rather be some were else.

    A good teacher who can keep kids interested in subjects all day, is a treasure.

    Murrell
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    cow pollinater writes:
    The last hour of the meeting consisted of lots of kids looking at their shoes while I answered questions about pollination, genetics, disease,etc from the parents.

    tecumseh:
    the audience was telling you something but either were not paying attention (not thinking on your feet) or you didn't have a back up plan.

    some subjects should be avoided like the plague. I have seen the same thing happen at our bee school where one person has some narrow interest in a particular topic (ccd seem to be the current favorite) that is just too deep or too complex to ever cover with a short answer. you may capture that one individual but you loose the remainder of the audience. my stock answer when these kinds of questions pop up are 1) their are entire books devoted to that subject which means a short answer is impossible or way to simplistic or 2) 'lets get together over lunch where we can discuss the particular topic in some detail'.

    having some 'teaching plan' on hand is essential for making an acceptable presentation. it needs not necessarily be written down and is simply an action plan of topic to be covered. if your understanding of a topic is quite broad then within a given (finite) time frame for a presentation what you decide not to discuss is as important a decision as what you do discuss.
     
  13. milapostol

    milapostol New Member

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I was just wondering if you are doing lectures or is it more of a hands on kind of thing. I remember as a kid liking the hands on stuff better!!! But I don't know if you're in a warm enough place to open a hive now, though...
     
  14. charmd2

    charmd2 New Member

    Messages:
    273
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am taking on our 4h clubs kids this spring. They tried really hard to get me to start lessons in January. But the age group of kids is 8-12 and I am sure not going to book teach them. So they agreed that we could start in April.

    honestly I would say ten kids is about six to many at one shot. With three or four at a time you can actually be more hands on and they will learn better than if you are merely standing in front of them pointing and saying This is a queen.. Can you see her back there? By the time you get the kids in the back of the group to the front the queen has moved along or with my amazing good luck flown off.

    If you come up with some really useful tips I would gladly take them so when my turn rolls around I'm more prepared.
     
  15. Bitty Bee

    Bitty Bee New Member

    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I might have a tag-along this spring! There is a ten year old I babysit occasionally who is interested in bees. We told her mom that she could come along for spring inspections and if she is still interested we could teach her.