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Beehives in schools


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I tried to explain this - if you have not been stung you cannot be allergic. You can only get an allergy response to something you've been exposed to before - in the case of bee stings, you have to have been stung before.

So, if I understand this correctly. It is someones second bee sting that could show a strong allergic reation that could require medical attention ?

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So, if I understand this correctly. It is someones second bee sting that could show a strong allergic reation that could require medical attention ?

Technically yes. Remembering that strong allergic reactions are not that common.

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When we were there a couple of weeks ago a ? staff member told us that they have an adrenaline injection pen on site as there is at least one child very allergic to nuts, dangerously allergic.

Yes, that's correct. I'm still hoping the hive gets to stay put.

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If your child is allergic to bees, they are always at risk whether there is a hive at their school or not.

but in the minds of city folk all bees come from your hive, therefore your responsible.

its a tough nut to crack.

i remember back in primary school, we had wasps by the ton. in classrooms, everywhere.

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but in the minds of city folk all bees come from your hive, therefore your responsible.

its a tough nut to crack.

i remember back in primary school, we had wasps by the ton. in classrooms, everywhere.

I think you'll find that this attitude is changing a little. Bees (and their supposed disappearance) have had much positive publicity in recent years.

Wasps are a problem everywhere, especially in late summer and autumn, and are a completely different problem. The children at my sons school certainly know the difference between wasps and bees.

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not quite what i meant.

people don't always think of bees as wild animals. especially in the media they are always shown as belonging to someone.

wasps people think of as being wild. ie there no wasp farmer to blame!

That makes more sense. Was a little confused by the sudden switch to wasps. I agree wasps are wild animals and I guess bees are pretty much all managed by someone now. Unfortunately means that people can find someone to blame if they have a bad experience with bees. In that regard it becomes important to make sure bees being kept in urban areas are of a suitably gentle, non-aggressive breeding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey,

 

We are looking at getting bees in our school. What sort of problems did you face when trying to introduce them to your school? I have already had a few teachers comment on how silly it sounds as the kids will get stung! Also, how did you set it up initially? We don't want to spend too much money to begin with, and wondered if a hive could be set up by an experienced beekeeper? Your ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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Hey,

 

We are looking at getting bees in our school. What sort of problems did you face when trying to introduce them to your school? I have already had a few teachers comment on how silly it sounds as the kids will get stung! Also, how did you set it up initially? We don't want to spend too much money to begin with, and wondered if a hive could be set up by an experienced beekeeper? Your ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The hive has now been there 4 weeks now so still early days. So far the feedback has been very positive. I've been through the hive a couple of times with a different group of 5 kids each time and they really enjoy it. I believe the Principal is still dealing with one concerned parent but I haven't heard anything more about that for a week or two now.

It is a pity that there are teachers have such a short-sighted attitude. I would expect every school to have at least a few concerned parents but not so much the teachers. I've attached some guidelines that I gave the main teacher involved. This is adapted from "Practical Beekeeping in New Zealand" by Andrew Matheson and Murray Reid. It is a good place to start for finding somewhere to put the bees where they won't bother people.

I certainly think it is a good idea to have an experienced beekeeper on board. I was keen to give the kids the opportunity to play with bees and am lucky enough to have a flexible job that allows me to go the school to look after the hive with the kids during school hours. The hive is still owned by me and I am responsible for making sure it is healthy. I am not sure how easy it is to find an experienced beekeeper who could do something similar up your way but would I suggest this forum and local beekeeping club/s as good places to start looking.

In terms of spending money, Opoho School (where I have my hive) applied for a grant (from Bayer - every beekeeper's favourite company) which provided enough money to buy safety gear. As the hive belongs to me I wouldn't expect the school to spend money on the actual beehive and since the children only go through the hive with me the school also don't need a smoker, hive tools etc.

Hope this info helps and fire away with more questions if you have them. Good luck!

Rules for urban beekeeping.pdf

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  • 2 weeks later...

Had another look through the hive today. Initially thought that the queen must have had an accident last time we looked. No eggs, almost no larvae and a couple of queen cells. Not to mention lots of honey and pollen being collected.

After having a think about it I decided to split the hive as it has a very healthy population and being at a school in suburbia I do not want it swarming. Found a queen while doing this. Looks like she's stopped laying and is being superseded. Will go back and check both the hive and the split soon.

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To anybody who is getting the old 'the kids will get stung' argument . . .My grandson got stung at kindy last week. There are no beehives there, and unlikely to be any close by - it's South Dunedin and very densely populated. It was just a passing bee.

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To anybody who is getting the old 'the kids will get stung' argument . . .My grandson got stung at kindy last week. There are no beehives there, and unlikely to be any close by - it's South Dunedin and very densely populated. It was just a passing bee.

Or a wasp or bumble bee. Don't blame the honey bee yet.

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  • 7 months later...

Fair enought D, that post made me realise how fortunate we have been with our girls who have made it successfully to nearly 21 and 22 with very little stress:coffee:

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working on it, Stephen. Five.. six months since the allergy arose now and ready to get her referred. Have wanted to get her over 3 years, over 20 kg and get her language skills up there before we put her through it.

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My great grandfather use to live beside a school and he was beekeeper and use to have hives beside the school and use to go over to the school and teach them about the bees he would say to them don't throw stones at the hives what to do if a swarm came into the school basic stuff. You leave them alone and they leave you alone sort of thing.

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working on it, Stephen. Five.. six months since the allergy arose now and ready to get her referred. Have wanted to get her over 3 years, over 20 kg and get her language skills up there before we put her through it.

How does it work?

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How does it work?

 

Tiny doses of venom, slowly increasing in amount until a whole sting could be tolerated.

 

My friend's 9yo son has been going through it for a couple of years now. Once a month I think. Initially administered in hospital, in case of a major reaction. Over time and if no larger reactions are sparked, the dose can be administered at your doctor's office.

 

It's not without risk, and it's not necessarily a smooth progression. My friend's son appeared to be going well.. had got up to tolerating about a third of a sting or something, and then 'relapsed' for lack of a better word, and suddenly could only handle very little again.

 

If you do get up to a normal reaction, there's no guarantee the allergy won't recur at a later date.

 

It's been our decision to wait a little with Em, just because we wanted her to understand what was going on, and, maybe more importantly, for her to be able to tell us what was going on with her... for her to be able to tell us she feels itchy before she has a visible rash, or her tummy is sore before she doubles over or whatever.

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