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Educating young people today about honeybees is a very difficult task for a number of reasons.
Fist most people fear what they don’t understand.
Most of American society today has become disease-fearing society overly concerned with germs. Insects are feared as disease carrying pests undesirable in or around a home. Honeybees are feared in this way too as well as their ability to sting. Most people believe they are allergic to stings, because they swell and itch. An attempt to explain the difference between a genuine allergic reaction and a normal reaction is nearly imposable due to fear. A large number of people that react to a sting think they are swelling and itching due to some germ or disease the stinging insect is carrying. Honeybees are all perceived in the same way as pest like yellow jackets and named “bees”.
In the modern post WWII America most people don’t have a clue how things we all take for granted in our local supermarket got there. For an example if you ask an average young person today where hamburger comes from you might be answered, from McDonalds, in years shortly after WWII asking the same question the answer might be, from my uncles cows.
Teachers today are tasked with covering overwhelming amounts of material within a school year. They do cover discussions about food chains where the subject of insects and their position in the chain are, leaving out the importance of insects that pollinate. Science lessons that include basic plant biology and pollination rarely mention honeybees and their ability to pollinate. If a discussion about honeybees is mentioned in a science book it is often about how they make honey, the extremely important roll they play in our food chain is not mentioned.
Many children today are insulated form nature, outside activities are restricted to playing organized sports or other sports related activities. Parents don’t teach their children about nature, by taking them outside and showing them, even if something as simple as a spider web or bird nest. Family trips by car are spent listening to headphones or watching a DVD or reading the latest fantasy novel. There is so much to see and talk about out the window of a car. Farmers are usually the most friendly people anyone can get to know, get to know them take a family trip and visit them have them share there real knowledge of animals and plants.
 

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I find it bizzare when people won't try fresh milk from my goats or think our fresh pasture raised eggs are wierd. In reality real food is not weird, everything else is just so processed and sterlized that people are loosing touch with reality.
 

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Well my 4 and 6 year old have been helping with the bees for the last two years. They love it and so do I, even if their help means it takes me twice as long as doing it by myself! Of course last year we picked through some cow patties out in the pasture by my bee yard to see what kind of insects were in there. I guess I won't worry about my kids living too sterile a life.
 

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ekrouse sezs:
I guess I won't worry about my kids living too sterile a life.

tecumseh adds:
my grandmother raise me using the addage that you raised a boy on a peck of dirt a day. I must have been a good subject because I got into everything.

I have a family member who does research on the immume system. They are finding that children that are raised in too sterile an environment are developing health problem later. He seemed to suggest that the immune system must be exposed early if it is to develope properly.
 

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MichaelW”
I have a Jersey dairy cow and raise Bore goats too. In times when the cow is dry we’ll milk the Bore beef goats. All my neighbors are waiting for me to fall over dead from drinking raw un-pasteurized milk, I keep reminding them that there was a time in history when settlers thought tomatoes were deadly poison. In the 1900’s milk pasteurization was prohibited by law and considered to be (dirty milk) a standard of bad husbandry by the farmers selling it. You don’t need to be very careful or very clean with milk if you’re planning to pasteurize it.

We also have free-range hens and it hasn’t been that long ago when we gave some eggs to ladies who throw them out due to the deep rich color of the yolk, she even called my wife and warned her about the bad eggs we gave her ……lol

I enjoy farm life and it really is a land of milk and honey………smile
 

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I started raising hens for eggs about 2 years ago.

I had two (now eaten by hawks) Araucanas in the flock that produced green shells. The people I gave those eggs to were always suspicious.

I'm adding bees to my very small ag efforts. My 1yr old will be helping with the goings on in a few more years. I'd raise some goats etc. but those types of animals seem like they'd keep me from leaving for vacations or I'd have to find a house sitter for them.
 

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Both of my sons (21 & 6) are active with the bees.
They both enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, shooting, etc.
They both enjoy the outdoors and wildlife.
My older son will not eat "store" bought berries, corn, etc, as it tastes like cardboard. Nothing like picking and eating.
It is a matter of what values you teach and instill.
 

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Joey33,
Interesting topic. I like to look at old textbooks. It seems to me that there is still much to be learned from the 100 year old textbooks...moreso than many of the new-fangled books. After looking at high school math and agriculture textbooks from the late 1800's I realized that I did "not" know half of the the things in the old books. All still relevant and important information...just not taught today. I can't recall a modern ag textbook that really taught about beekeeping as it should be. Perhaps it is up to us to have positive personal interactions that will inspire the young people who might not otheriwse learn about the importance of bee's.
Barry
 

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We keep about 15 to 20 laying hens. We get the eggs and the local racoons, coyotes, and hawks get a chicken dinner now and then.

You can't beat fresh eggs unless you want them hard boiled. Fresh eggs that are boiled are hard to peel, but I've heard that boiling them with a potato makes them easier to peel. Has anyone heard that one?

BTW, I've got 4 roosters from this spring that are almost large enought to butcher. I have a hard time actually doing the dirty deed. The birds strut around and think they're invincible and at that last second they realize it ain't true... I must be a softie.
 

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>You can't beat fresh eggs unless you want them hard boiled. Fresh eggs that are boiled are hard to peel, but I've heard that boiling them with a potato makes them easier to peel. Has anyone heard that one?

I've heard and tried that, or adding in vegetable oil also. They still looked like some sort of egg you'd have made out of lego blocks.

I keep a carton in the fridge and will boil them after they are 2 weeks old, works better.
 

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I've never heard that. Have to try it. Also I was losing my entire herd (flock) to foxes before I got a turkey last year. He's bigger than the foxes. Timed for last Thanksgiving. He's still alive cuz he keeps foxes out.

Hawk
 

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My kids don't have much of an interest in the bees. I personally think it's a jealous thing as their perception is that I spend more time "playing" with the bees than with them. My son will walk up with me and watch the hive entrance but when it comes time to open the box, the only way he'll stay is in the cab of the truck. Not bad because I can still show/educate him and communication through the window isn't bad. Got some new neighbor kids up the road that are a whole different story....six of the little curtain climbers from age 5-9 all dressed in shorts and no shoes snuck up on me yesterday. I'm bunkered up from head to toe doing a frame by frame inspection and they came in silent to avoid "scaring" the bees. Heck....when I jumped I darn near dropped a frame. Second jolt came when I asked them if they were the least bit scared...oldest boy (9) said "no sir, I knew you had bees so I made sure me and my sister (5) had our EPI-PEN before we came down"....Now mind you, these kids are standing within 5 feet of an open hive in the fall complete with a fully agitated bee population. I gathered up a couple of frames and had them walk a distance from the hive and gave them the old "show and tell" complete with a finger or three full of honey. These kids are well educated about the risks. I asked them if it made their mom/dad nervous seeing my bees and the kid responded "no sir...doesn't really make any difference to us since we're alergic we have to carry them anyway because the woods are full of wasps and bees". Sent them home with a quart bottle of honey.

David
 

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Great story David, I suspect your kids will eventually get some interest, especially if they see other kids asking questions and comming around to see whats going on. Keep trying and if nothing else they will always remember that and appreciate it at least when they get older.

2 week or more eggs boil good. No telling how old store eggs are. After reading it in Mother Earth News, I bring my old eggs to a boil then after one minute turn the heat off and let them sit for about 12min or more. I take about 3 of them to work about half the week. I'm averaging 4 eggs a day sometimes more, feel like its the best food avaliable to me right now. Well there's honey. A hawk about the third the size of our chickens tried his best to get one yesterday. Had them by its talons but it just wasn't big enough. Now I'm trying to get them used to using their coop and pen, so I can put them up when predators come around. My neigbor is getting tired of my chickens running the place too. They've run his chickens out of some of their territory.
 

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Here's a good, simple site that shows differences between homegrown, pasture raised eggs and typical grocery eggs. Commercial pasture raised, organic eggs have a higher level of confinement than peaceablekingdom's chickens but still have significant access to pasture.

http://www.geocities.com/peaceablekingdomfarm/eggs.htm

We sell some of our extra eggs for $3 a dozen. If anyone in your area is selling pasture raised chicken eggs, is the extra $2 a dozen worth it for you? Consider the increase in nutrition and the operational differences you are supporting.
 
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