Children from all over the area swarmed the Shilo Inn Thursday morning to get an up-close look at honeybees. Participants learned the basics of beekeeping during the Kids Learn About the Bees event.
Several groups of 20 to 25 children browsed a variety of educational tables set up by the Texas Beekeepers Association with one of the honey queens and princesses as an official guide.
They went from table to table learning about honey extracting equipment, bee hive boxes and smoker, and the bee suit, hat, veil and gloves. The children had the chance to sample a honey stick and create a beeswax candle to take home.
But the main attraction was an observation hive of honeybees. For Jonathan Scutack, 6, being near the hive was not only interesting but also the start of overcoming his fear of bees. Liz Warren, his grandmother and an aspiring beekeeper who lives in Copperas Cove, brought Jonathan to the event to help him overcome that fear so she can have hives at her house. By the time he finished the tour, he was utterly fascinated.
Watching children become excited by the event is something Danielle Dale, the 2012 American Honey Princess with the American Beekeeping Federation, is familiar with. “It’s nice to see kids eyes open wide when you tell them a fun fact,” Dale said. “They are like little sponges; they soak in everything you say.”