Beekeeping with young kids? - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
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    Modesto, California, USA
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    35

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    On the subject of children and venom allergy:

    Is it true that the family members of beekeepers are more likely to develop an allergy (due to exposure to venom on the beek's clothing) than the beekeeper themselves? What can be done to help your children avoid becoming allergic?

    Obviously, getting stung regularly would help a lot, but that will also kill your child's interest in beekeeping.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Clinton, TN
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    204

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    My son Jack did beekeeping with me some from the time he was 7. Like others said interest was on and off but mostly off or not interested. He always enjoyed helping extract honey though. He is now 14 almost 15 and over the winter he got interested in bees and beekeeping despite me kind of losing interest. I was considering selling my few hives. He had the idea to do beekeeping as a part time job and he bought 3 nucs with his own lawn mowing money, caught a couple of swarms, and did a couple of splits. So I am really surprised now we have a yard full of bees again. I am helping him now instead of him helping me it feels like. I am hoping since he has invested his own money he will stick with it. I did provide most of the boxes although they were just empty boxes I had since I had been scaling back and not replacing dead outs over the last couple of years.
    Luke 24:42 - And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and honeycomb. And Jesus took it, and did eat it before them.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    4,236

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambrose View Post
    ... I think that's easier for them to do, especially when they're young, if they have smaller colonies and more manageable equipment, their own size, to work with. .......
    We all could use more manageable equipment, not to mention the small people.
    Sorry - off-topic.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  5. #24
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    Dec 2017
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    Dane County, WI, USA
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    4,236

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boxelder View Post
    On the subject of children and venom allergy:

    Is it true that the family members of beekeepers are more likely to develop an allergy (due to exposure to venom on the beek's clothing) than the beekeeper themselves? What can be done to help your children avoid becoming allergic?

    Obviously, getting stung regularly would help a lot, but that will also kill your child's interest in beekeeping.
    I say this is unproven theory and has no support to it.
    Not sure why Mr. Palmer even brought this up (I saw his video).

    In my entire beekeeping family no one ever had dangerous bee allergy since I remember myself.
    And yet my sister's husband (total beekeeping outsider) had life threatening allergic reaction to bee venom just after 1-2 stings.
    That was the end of his "beekeeping career".

    My own kids are pretty tolerant to a sting there and here - not much outside of few tears.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,438

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boxelder View Post
    Is it true that the family members of beekeepers are more likely to develop an allergy (due to exposure to venom on the beek's clothing) than the beekeeper themselves?
    Yes unfortunately it is true. It is something that as parents we are reluctant to face up to.
    During the first couple of years of a childs life their immune system is learning how to respond to the pathogens, bugs, toxic plants etc that are in it's environment. Unfortunately during this time, exposure to tiny amounts of bee venom can program the immune system to over react later in life if the person gets a full sting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boxelder View Post
    What can be done to help your children avoid becoming allergic?
    During the first 2 - 3 years of a childs life, the beekeeper should keep all their bee gear well away from the child. An outside shed is a good idea. The bee suit should be washed each use and stored away, and the beekeper take a shower after working the bees before having any contact with the child.

    The majority of beekeepers children grow up with no bee allergies even if the parents take no precautions, but there is a risk. In my country as many as 1 in 10 children of commercial beekeepers develop an allergy, which can be a tradgedy as they cannot continue the family business. A beekeeper I know had a child with an allergy, one day when the boy was a teenager he took him out in the bee truck to a remote location ( i cannot understand why he did this). The boy got a sting and died before help could be reached.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
    Posts
    836

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Up till age around 3 they should be kept well away from bees and bee gear to prevent them developing an allergy later in life. Then age around 5 may work for showing them inside a hive for some kids, but not others. 7 or 8 years old most kids are ready and find bees pretty fascinating.

    Here's my grandkids learning bees, apologies to anyone who has seen these pics before.



    Sorry to take a way from the O.P. thread but what does age have to do with a child/person developing an allergy later in life? I have not seen any information where age had any thing to do with developing an allergy. Thank you.

  8. #27
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    Jul 2010
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,438

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    Because it is during the first couple years of a baby's life that their immune system is being programed.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Northern Il, USA
    Posts
    744

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    I got bees because my daughter wanted bees, and then showed little interest. She has no fear and even helped my with some swarms this spring.

    My niece had bees and her little kids loved them, but the bees died. I am giving them another hive this summer to try. Very low-aggression bees! Her husband is a carpenter and built some beautiful observation hives, top-bar hives, so they are ready to go. Hope it goes better this year.

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ozark, AL
    Posts
    836

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Because it is during the first couple years of a baby's life that their immune system is being programed.
    Talking about older than about 5 years old. They need to be about that old to be able to handle a frame or most equipment. I say this is unproven theory and has no support to it child/person developing an allergy later in life, not talking about babies under 2 or 3 years old.

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    4,236

    Default Re: Beekeeping with young kids?

    We are developing allergy response for as long as we live - birth to death.
    It is never set in stone and is very complex.
    So, I would not worry about this "beekeeper family allergy" thing as some general and well defined prescription.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Albany NY
    Posts
    284

    Default

    Another trick for introducing folks to bees (young or old) is to move a small nuc to the teaching area several yards outside your bee yard a day or two before "class." All the foragers will fly back leaving docile young bees with low population. It does set the nuc back: by the time you can put them back the foragers have joined other colonies (but you can use that to your advantage as well...). I would not do this for just anybody, but it could be meaningful for your children or grandchildren. Our children get stung regularly: they go barefoot everywhere and often step on a bee. So far no issues. I taught them to put broad leaf plantain paste on their stings so they can soothe themselves now in the same lawn they got the sting.... My 9yo comes to help sometimes (we did get her a suit and she is more comfortable for longer with it). My 17yo only grudgingly enters the bee yards but he does a great job making boxes and frames and extracting. The other 2 are not much interested but help when asked....

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