A few months ago when I first suggested having bees, my daughter's reaction was: 'I won't ever go to the allotment again because they will come to bite me'. They are now insisting on having 'the uniform', meaning their own veils. Can you get veils for a seven-year-old? How can I be sure they will not get stung?
Yes, you can get beesuits to fit a seven-year-old. If you browse the internet for beekeeping supplies I'm sure that you will be able to find some. As for your other question, "how can you be sure that they will not be stung"? I would have to say the same thing that an old-time beekeeper taught me... If you're going to work with bees, you're going to get stung. I checked a hive of mine a couple of days ago and had a bee sting me through the glove. I would suggest that you take some precautions with the children. For example, let the kids join you when you inspect the hive only when there is a good nectar flow happening. If there is a sudden stop in the nectar flow, the bees will generally get nasty. Another option would be to only allow the children to help you work with a colony that tends to be more gentle.
<<A few months ago when I first suggested having bees, my daughter's reaction was: 'I won't ever go to the allotment again because they will come to bite me'. They are now insisting on having 'the uniform', meaning their own veils. Can you get veils for a seven-year-old? How can I be sure they will not get stung?>>
You may think this strange, but I'm going to encourage you to make sure the kids DO get a sting now and then.
Bee venom allergies are much more common in beekeeper families than in the general public, and the current thinking is that family members are exposed to minute amounts of dried bee venom dust on beekeeper clothes, which is enough to sensitize them. If they are stung occasionally, thier body's immune systems will respond appropriately and be able to deal with it. But when there is such a frequent low level exposure, the body doesn't adapt. Maybe it's like the frog in the pan of water that is slowly being heated. He doesn't respond, because he never realizes he's being cooked.
That said, I'd try to give them plenty of protection for their faces. My younger son got his first sting right below his eye, and boy did he ever have a shiner! His eye was swelled shut and black and blue for a couple days. I was afraid to send him to school, for fear of what they would think. So it's best to get the first stings on body extremities.
If you go to mannlakeltd.com they have 2 sizes in the honey maker bee sute the best on the market for protection. there is an online catalog and ther e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis C Jones II