Observation hives at school and liability
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Humboldt Co., California
    Posts
    557

    Default Observation hives at school and liability

    Does anyone ..either a club or individual...give presentations to grammar schools using a demonstration hive, and if you do, do you require any type of liability waiver and/or prior notification of parents prior to the demonstration. This came up at our board meeting...and yes we carry insurance for our club.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Ascutney, VT
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    I have brought in observation hives. Both times the school sent home a notice to inform the parents that we were going to bring in bees and explaining what were we doing and that bees would be contained. If any parent did not want their kids participating the school would find sometime for the child to do during that time.

  4. #3

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    Been doing demo for about 4 years never been a problem. Though this year I did suggest that we get some permission slips signed see we are opening a hive and looking at all aspects of the hive.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
    Posts
    1,549

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    If the web gets too tangled, try what my neighbor did for his grandsonís class. He borrowed a nucs worth of frames from me and made up a picture album to explain to workings of a hive. The kids loved it, although they made a mess of the honey frame poking their fingers in it.
    Rod

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    Now that I am semi retired I am planing on going to the local schools to share about bees and beekeeping.
    This has been one of my concerns, so I will be following this thread.
    I am also going to start another about what kind of questions different age groups might ask.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    4,214

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    I've done this numerous times and have never been asked about insurance or liability. My OB hive uses lexan for covers, and has wide supports for stability. Much higher likelihood that they get stung on the playground than during my demonstration. Shh, don't tell the administrators, they may ban recess.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Maysel,WV
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    I have done it a few times last year. This year I am making a special hive just for taking to the school. One that doesnít have any exit to the outside for the bees.
    Some kids are determined to take the plug out of the exit and touch the bees.
    Also only going to be a single frame wide and I may go two frames high, thinking only one deep high. You have to remember you are going to be carrying this around from class to class or kids will be coming to you. Either way they wonít have much time to look for the queen or anything else. So the lighter and less real estate they have to look through the better.
    I also take the clubs teaching frames with the blown up pictures in a hive so they can see what the bees normally live in.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Aroostook, ME, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    https://youtu.be/OdsD64bw-Rw?t=250

    Just look at all those people walking around without a bee suit. Everyone is calm, the bees are working... Wait till a lawyer hears about it.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    Hello @orthoman,

    Last year we organized "Lumusislight" projects at high schools (local high schools who allowed our research group to work with kids after school and use demonstration hives as illustrative material). The project was successful only here in Portland (in other schools, there were issues with parents) on the basis of Honey Bee Lab (Oregon State University). We are also planning to organize more events in 2020 and 2021.

    Lumuss

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    I have a single frame observation hive that has no exit that would require a screwdriver to open it. It works best for a short demo. The Ulster hive has an advantage if you are going to have them in the observation hive for a day or two. But our club uses some that take a deep and a shallow and we have bees in them for the 10 days of State Fair. They get some pollen and sometimes a new frame of honey (the shallow) and they are taken outside just before dark to let them take a cleansing flight. They are pretty stressed out by the end of the fair, but it works. These have no exit that can be opened without a screwdriver and we keep an eye on them so some kid doesn't open them up...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,571

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    I take an Ulster hive to schools a few times a year. Normally elementary. I live in a agricultural area where the 4H Club and Future Farmers of America are still popular programs. We don't get too hysterical about livestock or critters.

    No waivers. No notices to parents. I am responsible for whether a bee leaves that hive or not. I tape down the door and I insert a piece of cardboard to block little fingers from being stung through the bottom screen. I carefully check the entire hive for hitchhikers prior to entering the building. I stand beside the hive at all times and I watch as children approach. I ask the teachers to allow them to come to the front of the class in groups of 5, and they take turns approaching the hive and finding the queen. The queen is always painted. I highly recommend that you either paint the queen, or tell them that the queen is not present in the hive. Allowing 30 students to separately find an unpainted queen will take longer than the class period will allow -- even on one side of one frame in an observation hive.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    I've been making presentations in elementary schools with an observation hive (Ulster) for the past 8-10 years. The subject of liability has never come up and I always figured the school was more at risk than me. I believe the biggest precaution is to never leave an observation hive unattended when taking it to any public place...school, farmers market, etc.
    I give a short presentation, then we line the kids up and they pass by the observation hive single file instead of allowing them to all crowd around. This removes any pushing and shoving to get to the bees and puts me in control while I explain what they are observing as they pass by. They are not allowed to touch the hive. I have found a flashlight helps to see inside the combs.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,623

    Default Re: Observation hives at school and liability

    If I were invited to lecture at a school, I'd probably carry insurance and a couple of Epi-pens, just in case.

    I build my observation hives with double pane windows (that's no guarantee - remember these are deviant, wicked, pubescent human factors waiting for the opportunity to kick a beehive), and I'd bring my gentlest bees, I'd bring them broodless, with a queen, and some open comb for her to lay eggs into. The rest of the lecture would depend on large posters, so video footage, and a lot of empty equipment.

    I'd charge the same as if I went to get a swarm - $50.00 per hour plus travel cost (obviously no ladder work, no cutouts, no construction costs). I'd gladly pass a school lecture off to another beekeeper - it seems very risky to me.

    I've given a number of lectures about beekeeping - public libraries, bee clubs, Grange / Guild Halls, Lions' Club, Toastmasters, Business Groups, Wine and Home Brewing clubs, etc., but never a school. Mostly only brought or have seen Observer hives to town festivals and beekeeping festivals, but I did bring one to a business club lecture. Lighting a smoker is perhaps more popular than the O-hive, but both will keep people around for quite a while.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 12-10-2019 at 05:14 PM.

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