Both Science Clubs , together with the Key Stage 1 Out-Of-The-Box club have been buzzing with excitement at the arrival of a bee-keeper and some of his beekeeping equipment. Rabbi David Hulbert brought in some honeycombs and, with Science teacher Mrs Carter , Science Club’s Mrs Epstein and SEND teacher Mrs Hulbert on hand, explained to the children the important role of insects such as bees in pollinating flowering plants as they fly around collecting sweet nectar.
The children handled the honeycomb to admire the meticulously-built hexagonal wax structure, filled with honey and capped with wax, all made by very busy bees in the colony. In high summer, the children heard that there may be as many as 50,000 bees all working in close cooperation in each hive. Rabbi David explained the fascinating lifecycle of the bee and how much teamwork and energy they put into the making of the honey. The children were able to see and try on the beekeepers’ protective clothing which is used when the hive is opened to check on the bee colony. They also saw the smoker, used to calm the bees when the honey is harvested.
The children then helped in the extraction of the golden liquid honey from the ‘comb, firstly removing the tiny wax door or ‘cap’ from each cell in the comb, before the frame of dripping comb is slotted into an extractor which works as a centrifuge. The extractor handle was vigorously turned to spin the drum, throwing the liquid honey out so that it can be gathered, filtered to remove any odd bits of wax and put into jars.
The children enjoyed a taste of honey and agreed that all that hard work by the bees had been worth while not just for the plants but for us too.