Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Bee talk to kids - a HIT

Today I did a talk on bees to kids in a school in Knightsbridge. The audience was about 50 kids, all between the  ages of 8 and 10. I'd spent some decent time preparing, and turned up wearing a bee suit (for the theatrical effect), have a brood body with "training" frames in (covered with pictures of bees and comb), and a presentation in powerpoint with all manner of pictures, graphics and video. I'd post the presentation here, but am afraid it was over 3Mb, so have decided not to. Anyhow, the presentation went down a storm, and I got lots of audience participation at all the right points and the boys and the teachers all pitched in with attentive faces and decent questions. The kids particularly seemed to appreciate when, after showing them a picture of "monsterous blood-sucking varroa," I pulled one of them out of the crowd to get a real varroa out of my bag and show it to the group: there was quite a laugh when the boy turned round to reveal a tiny red dot sticky-taped in the middle of a sheet of paper. I feel pretty gratified to have pulled it off since I was not sure what to expect, and I'm now planing to approach a few more schools in London to see if they are interested in me doing similar presentations. In fact, I'm wondering whether to purchase an observation hive nuc which although expensive will give me some good mileage at these types of things. I've already been asked by the London Wildlife Trust to host a stall on bees for a weekend festival they are holding in April, so perhaps the capital outlay on the observation hive might turn out to be well justified. And, to be honest, I'd just love to have one!