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Check out the Bees!

What do your kids think when they hear about bees? Bugs, stings, honey?  There’s something much more important than these things, and Orange County has the perfect place to learn about it.

beeBees are critical to plant pollination.  This has always been true, but bees are getting extra attention these days because their numbers are mysteriously declining. Without bees, a lot of crops that we grow for food would be in danger.

Centennial Farm at the Orange County Fairgrounds has a great hive that’s set up so that kids can see how bees live. There are crops growing in their farm, so you’re likely to see bees in action pollinating real food.

But what can a kid do about the problem of dying bees?  Plenty!  Be nice to bees, plant a flower that they’ll like. Older kids might make this into a project. Is there a scout badge that requires learning about an animal or the environment? What about extra credit in science?  Or a current events report?

beehivesSweeten the pot with a little extra fun.  Centennial Farm has a whole farm with goats, pigs, horses, chickens and more. That alone is enough to make the trip exciting. Books are always popular with kids.  A picture book about a bee would delight a little one, while photos of bees and beehives might interest someone who loves to see the nitty gritty of how things work. What about watching the Bee Movie?  Honey makes a great treat. If you can find them, pick up some honey sticks. If your child is under one year old, you might want to forgo the honey this time around.  A ziploc bag of Honeycomb cereal would be memorable, especially if you don’t normally buy sugar cereal.

And don’t forget the Benadryl, just in case!