As part of the Gilroy Beekeepers Association mission to provide education in our local community, we've been spending some time with local second graders! GBA members, Sara Cutrignelli and Arthur Kubogamell, had some fun learning tools on hand for students from Barrett Elementary to help them understand the importance of bees as pollinators.

To immerse students into talking like a bee, they made up a "Waggle Communication Dance" to help other bees (that is, students!) find their way home, or bring back pollen, or move to a new home - all with respect to the sun.

The hands-on learning stations were a big hit, too, and included fun activities such as:

1. Spotting the queen among all the bees in the Hive Station and learning about the different roles in the hive. Also finding out about the difference between honey bees, wasps and yellow jackets.

2. Trying out the tools of the trade at the Beekeeper Station - from dressing up in bee suits/jacket and veils, to playing with the hive tool, bee brush and smoker. Here the students learned about manually extracting honey, how to put in the frames and "spin out" the honey.

3. Finding out about products from the hive at the Sensory Station. Students were tasting the difference between crystallized, liquid and combed honey straight from a frame. And feeling wax from an extraction, refined wax and beeswax that bees made on a frame. There were also sunflower and pumpkin seeds to round off the culinary experience!

It was a great fun event which was over all too soon, but we're hopeful lots of new bee friends were made!

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