Bert Curley visited the school with his bees on a lovely warm sunny afternoon which was ideal to learn all about the bees outdoors. Bert built the bee hive and was just such a great story-teller. The work of the honey bees is amazing and they really work so hard. Wild honey bees are almost extinct at the moment due to a mite that has killed them off so the work of bee keepers all over Ireland is really important.
Bees collect nectar from white-thorn trees, apple trees & pear trees and sometimes even from the bog heather. Bert told us that honey made from pollen collected from bog heather by the bees has a distinctly peaty taste.
Bert brought his bee-keeper protective clothing and let us try them on. He described how clever the bees are. If a creature e.g. a mouse makes their way into the hive, the bees will sting and kill the mouse. Then they cover them in propolis which is like a glue which sets and becomes hard. Once covered with propolis, there is no smell in the hive!
Bees visit about 20,000 flowers to collect enough nectar to make 1 teaspoon of honey! That’s a lot of hard work! The most fascinating part was picking out the queen bee in the hive and she was easily identifiable. She is a little longer than all the workers. We could also see the larvae growing in the hexagon combs. Bert took out a honey-comb for us and the smell was so nice and sweet!
Most of all Bert reminded us to look after all the wild habitats for the bees. He was one of the best story-tellers to visit our school and we learned so much about the honey bees. Thank you Bert. Take a look at the photos below.