Don’t teach fear; teach respect instead
The bees are drinking as much sugar water as the kids are drinking milk. It’s amazing how quickly two sets of little ones can consume these liquids.
And so yesterday, I went to refill the sugar water for the bees so I wouldn’t have to do it this morning. Mornings are just too crazy to add another chore, but that’s a blog post for a different day. And one little worker bee decided she didn’t want to hop out of the feeder. So we brought her along, refilled the jar, and I was going to turn it over, but I didn’t want to drown her. Instead, we shook her out of the feeder onto the mulch, and put the feeder back in place.
At this point, the kids decided they wanted an up close view of a honey bee.
I can’t tell you how many people seem to be freaked out at the concept of being close to bees. Everyone’s first shared thought has been that I’m crazy because bees sting.Â We think this way because we’ve had bad experiences, and so we’ve either been taught, or taught ourselves, to fear stinging insects (as if they’re all created equally).
And so here we are, mere inches from the bee. Luka pointed out that she has stripes on her abdomen. Amelia counted her legs. We looked at how big her eyes were on her face. We talked about how it’s a girl bee, and that boy bees don’t fly. We talked about why you don’t touch the bee, and even though I mentioned that they sting when they’re scared, the conversation was more about not wanting to be touched, and respecting the life of another creature.
I don’t have to teach them to be afraid of bees. I just need to teach them to understand and respect the bees. And isn’t that a better state of mind for how to approach new things? I sure think so.