World Bee Day: Celebrating Our Special Striped Friends

World Bee Day: Celebrating Our Special Striped Friends

Did you know bees are so important to the overall health of our planet, that they have their own special day to celebrate their significance on 20 May? We celebrated in style in the Prep School by having Mr Chris Sharpe (Mrs Sharpe’s husband!) come in with some very exciting bee-keeping equipment.

We were treated to facts galore about bee keeping and the thousands of flower visits and hundreds of miles flown by each bee it takes to make a single jar of honey. We learned that up to 60 thousand bees are led by one very important Queen, who is fed and looked after in the hive so she can lay more than her own body weight in eggs in a single day! The majority of the colony is made of female worker bees which do everything from babysitting, nectar collection, cleaning, cell building, wax making, honey making, fanning and defence. There is a handful of male drones, whose seem to live a comparatively very easy life as all they need do is mill about to help the Queen increase colony size!

As their numbers grow, beekeepers can add extension layers or ‘supers’ to the wooden hives. Honey is made in these levels and sealed using wax the bees produce from their abdomens. We also learned about the threats to bees, especially from the Asian hornet, an invasive species which attacks and eats their way through hives. If you do think you see a hornet, you should notify the Great British Non-Native Species Secretariat (NNSS) immediately though the Asian Hornet Watch App on Android and iPhones.

We saw a real wooden hive, a beekeeper’s protective suit, a smoke puffer, real honeycomb, homemade honey and an array of really lively and fun props which brought beekeeping to life for us all.

To keep with the theme, straight after assembly we were treated to a special lunch where we could try exciting things such as honey cakes, bee pollen and honey in the comb! It was delicious.

Thank you to Mr and Mrs Sharpe and the catering team for making such a brilliant Bee Day! I know I speak for everyone in saying it was a fantastic assembly and we have a promise of Mr Sharpe coming back again next year to tell us more.

Mrs Hills-Matthews

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