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Awesome day has Rere kids buzzing

Gisborne kids were buzzing as Apiculture New Zealand shared its love and knowledge of bees as part of Bee Aware Month.

ApiNZ Turanganui a Kiwa/Poverty Bay hub president Barry Foster and entomologist Dr John McLean visited Rere School and playcentre, taking with them a live beehive, honey, beeswax, bee suits and plantable pencils.

Mr Foster said the kids were fascinated by the bees and had a great time playing dress-up in the safety clothing.

“They felt the warmth coming off the glass sides of the observation hive as the bees kept their brood warm.

“We demonstrated how smokers work, explained how bees pollinate our food crops, and they had a manuka and clover honey tasting to see the difference between different sources of honey.”

Dr Mclean also made a power point presentation on a bee’s life, history and anatomy.

Rere School principal Katrina Dekker said it was an awesome day.

“It was really informative and the kids loved the suits and the beehive full of worker bees.

“It was perfect timing as some of the children’s ‘passion’ projects were focussed on bees,” she said.

Mr Foster said they gave the school sprout pencils sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Each of the pencils can be planted to produce bee-friendly flowers. They have a small capsule of flower seeds at one end so people can stick the pencil in some soil and with water and sunlight, they will flower,” he said.

“The kids can’t wait to finish using their plant pencils so they can see the blue flowers they will produce,” said Ms Dekker.

Bee Aware Month also featured competitions around the country and Gisborne placed in the 2018 build a hive school competition.

Gisborne’s Pohutakawa Kids Oscar afterschool care were second with their clever creation.

Coordinator Stacey Hocking said they were so excited when they found out.

“The instructions for the competition were to create an imitation hive using recycled materials to highlight Bee Aware Month.

“We decided to make something that would be a bit more permanent in the garden by creating a bug hotel, rather than a temporary display made of cardboard.

“The initial idea was to learn about bees but now it can continue to be useful in our garden and provide a space for other mini beasts and helpful pollinators,” she said.

The final competition is the People’s Choice award through public voting on the Bee Aware Facebook page. Voting closes today.

BEE-ING AWARE: Apiculture New Zealand’s Barry Foster and entomologist Dr John McLean share their passion and knowledge of bees with Rere School kids. From left are Jack Roberts, Mr Foster, Mila Maddock, George Candy, Dr McLean and Luca Pell. Pictures by Liam Clayton
These littlies started their bee awareness education on a sweet buzz when they compared manuka and clover honey. From left are Ophelia Kemp. Digby Kemp, Samuel Candy, Lincoln Gannaway and Barry Foster.