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Beehives in schools


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for the record, by the way, she had an allergic reaction to her FIRST sting.

 

Very unusual, and probably only applies to children of beekeepers - despite our being careful with avoiding the kids being exposed to our suits, etc, she had obviously been exposed to enough bee venom just around and about to have developed an allergy before her first sting.

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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:

I don't know what you're talking about, I'm clearly mental :lol

 

 

It must be very difficult to be a beekeeper that has kids that are deathly allergic to bees..

I know a couple of beekeepers with kids that are/were allergic, and I can't imagine what it must be like.

You take all the necessary precautions but bees are everywhere, and when your passionate about something it must be hard to have to shield your children from it..

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Just realised whilst I was reading this what difference a boundary fence makes ! As we have 4 hives and we live next to a rural school. - although still located a reasonable distance away The bees don't understand the issues of boundaries and concerned parents, and I noticed this year they were having a great time in the clover in the school backfield - I didn't hear of any stings or issues - but I didn't when I was a kid either and bees were common place an it was accepted that bees were part of life and sometimes you got a sting. In fact as a kid I recall a large swarm settled on a school boundary fence , which didn't raise any more than a casual interest - with the kids just giving room.

So what has changed ???? Bees are still Bees and kids are still Kids !

 

It is an interesting argument that I expect we will see played out more and more about collective responsibility because we own or mange bees ! Rather like cattle or other live stock - although I am told it has already been determined by a court that bees are wild and can not be controlled - but it perhaps wont stop some challenge in law especially if money is involved as an inducement to run an argument ! (or dear I say the H & S Words)

Discussing Bees a schools yesterday It also raised the technical question about weather an observation or study hive in a school technically still required registration as another apiary ?

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So what has changed ???? Bees are still Bees and kids are still Kids !

 

The problem is that immune system disorders of all sorts (allergies, hayfever, asthma) seem to be becoming both more common and more severe. Apparently peanut butter sandwiches, a staple of lunchboxes when I was a kid, are actually banned in a lot of primary schools these days.

There are a bunch of theories about why this is happening - including not enough contact with the natural world, overuse of antibiotic soaps etc, but I have yet to see any hard science to explain the issue. Not that I've been looking that hard, but still...

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One bonus Dee is it'll cure her of any fear of needles, mind you I was 18 when I had my course of vemon desensitising.

 

John, would you consider writing up a thread about your allergy and desensitisation process? At 18 I imagine you remember all of it but were young enough to still be a bit of a kid. I would be really interested to get your perspective and experience.

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Hi,

I have just installed my observation hive in a classroom at my son's primary school. We will be starting a school hive in the spring (my intention was to do it during the NBA's 'bee week', 20-24 August). We want the kids to get as hands on as possible - get them putting frames together, going through the hive regularly to see how it's going, harvesting honey etc.

 

Is anyone involved with a school beehive? I would love to hear what the major issues that might come up are, what works well and generally how positively such a project is received.

 

Cheers,

Otto

 

Could you please post some photos of the observation hive?

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The beekeeper side of me loves the idea of bees in schools, of course.

 

As the parent of a child with a genuine anaphylactic allergy to bee stings.... to be honest, yes.. I'm ambivalent.

 

I know there's always the possibility of her encountering a beesting, wherever she is.

 

I also know there is a much higher likelihood of her encountering bees in the vicinity of a hive. That's why I no longer bring home hives to breed my own queens - it's too high risk.

 

I know that our local school playing field this year has been straight grass (mostly dead and dry!), with no apparent clover. But before I would be happy for a hive in the school grounds, I would want to know that a grass sward without clover or flowers was policy, not just coincidence.

 

I know that the gardens are mostly shrubbery for hard wear and low maintenance. Without having noticed in particular to date, I would want to check those plantings (which tend edge walkways) to know they were not going to flower and become bee attractive.

 

I know we've taught her as well as we can for her age to avoid bees. I know she knows if she is ever stung to run for a grownup and yell 'I have a beesting! I need my medicine! Call an ambulance!" I know she knows she could die.

 

I also know she has no idea of her own mortality. I know, no matter what I tell her, in her heart she believes that dying means you lie still for a few minutes and then get up and carry on, just like in the cartoons.

 

I know that she is a budding entomologist with insatiable curiosity... Friday's tally of "Emma Collectibles" at daycare was a praying mantis, a cricket, and two different species of spider. Today, she spent 15 minutes lying on her tummy a foot from a queen bumble bee, carefully pushing fresh picked flowers towards the bee.

 

I know that however brilliant she is, when she is in the company of her friends and the thrill of whatever the game is takes over, everything we have taught her to avoid stings.. wearing shoes.. looking before touching and so on... ceases to exist.

 

and I know what it feels like to hold her as she starts to lose consciousness and goes limp in my arms.

 

She's only three now. Her daycare is low risk, and the staff are trained and she is always within about 40 feet of a teacher.

 

Perhaps I'll feel better as she gets older. The thought of a hive in an intermediate or high school does not particularly phase me, assuming the school could satisfy me on those issues of plantings.

 

At primary school?

 

As a beekeeper I understand the risks.

 

As a parent I understand the impacts.

 

I guess you could call me 'one of those parents' if you like.

Very good to hear this side - especially from someone who loves and keeps bees. Must create a few difficult dilemmas for you.

 

I certainly wouldn't lump you into the same category as the parent concerned at my son's school though. In this case we were told the child 'might be' allergic to bees. My assumption is he had a reaction to something in the past and they have no idea what it actually was.

 

I did move the hive out yes. Instead we are going to set up a school hive on a lifestyle property bordering the school. The hive will be in a paddock, a good 50 or so metres away from any houses or school buildings with a decent border of trees in between as well. Not really any further for the kids and me to go compared to the school garden it was in. I'm happier with this set-up too.

 

Had there been a child with a diagnosed bee allergy the bees would never have been placed on school grounds. Having the bees there was discussed at length at board meetings and parents were told that the school was looking at getting a hive. The decision was that it would provide a great learning opportunity and there was no real reason to not have them. The 'might be' allergy only came up after the bees had been moved in.

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Hi. I know my post may have sounded a bit callous, BUT, I have a child that has so many aliphatic causes and was not meant to make it out of the hospital at birth. .

 

What a lovely young lady.

 

My lad got stung 3 weeks ago and came out in a sweat with difficulty breathing. Its the first time he's shown a reaction and its put him off a bit, which was a shame as he was getting quite clued up. He even identified one of my hives getting robbed out through an unwanted gap, rang me up and had taped it up all within 10 or 15 minutes of it happening. We were able to avert a certain disaster.

 

On the subject of stings, I can highly recommend the document @#Dave Black# created at Bee and Wasp Stings | NZ Beekeepers Forum

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John, would you consider writing up a thread about your allergy and desensitisation process? At 18 I imagine you remember all of it but were young enough to still be a bit of a kid. I would be really interested to get your perspective and experience.

 

Can't recall a lot of the detail Dee, remember my Tongue swelling up like a weetbix in my mouth and not being able to breathe, the Dr in those days was only a phone call away and arrived promptly and administered two shots to put things to right. Can't remember the detail on how long I was in trouble for or how long improvement took.

From there it was a trip to the Dr's once or twice a week until I decided that I was once again bullet proof and wasn't gonna bother with this anymore ... Probably stupid on my part, as when I enquired as to whether I could be tested for sensitivity when I took up beekeeping some 30 yrs later I was told that I would have to have another anaphylactic reaction and then have a blood test and treatment. The logic escaped me so I took up beekeeping as a protest, time will answer the questions, although three partial stings through gloves bought little reaction and i had quickly popped an off the shelf anti histamine just in case. Keep meaning to order an epipen but the cheapskate in me protests at how a few cents of adrenaline costs so much in a pen.

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Love the white coats !

This was taken by a colleague who took the bees to her son's school. Agreed - the white coats are a great touch. The school were doing a month long special interest focus on bees.

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Hi

Just starting reading this post.

There are a few beehives in some schools around Auckland these introduced through the 'Garden to Table' organization, and the 'Eye on Nature' Manukau Beautification Trust, are currently looking at beehives @ schools, and some at the Auckland Botanical Gardens.

I have kept several beehives across the road from my local primary school & kindygarden for over 10yrs now, have another beehives over a fence from an Intermediate, and have seen in my travels apiary right next to school, one of these just last week over the fence from a play field.

The school across the road did ask for a beehive in the school grounds, but as someone else said, if a child did get stung, as the beekeeper for the hive you could bet I'd be the first to hear, just thinking about having one on the school grounds makes me loss sleep. Though as I say beehive right across the road is pretty close, and I know the bees love the school holidays over summer, loads of flowers in flower on the fields, mowed a couple of days before school goes back.

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A few more photos of the observation hive. It holds 3 3/4 frames and is double glazed perspex (Dad built it for me). Has a mesh floor and board you can pull out to check for mites. Also has ventilation holes (the ones my son is listening to intently.

First three photos are my boys looking at the hive in our lounge after I first put bees in it and then a couple of it installed in the classroom.DSC07172.jpg.7722f088ce046fc7a416db8f841813c5.jpg

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DSC04913.jpg.b470e7d6b327af99ac2652ade0a6d796.jpg

DSC04912.jpg.66367f6d70cc0e37221756de7db88d1d.jpg

DSC07174.jpg.cbb474c60f6fe9ece12b6a74a4b2ce0a.jpg

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John, would you consider writing up a thread about your allergy and desensitisation process? ... I would be really interested to get your perspective and experience.

 

So would I.

 

DJC you're pretty well informed, but I recommend to take a look at this, you may not have seen it.

Diagnosis and management of hymenoptera venom allergy: British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) guidelines. Krishna et al. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, (2011) 41, 1201-1220.

Evidence-based guidance prepared by the Standard of Care Committee on epidemiology, risk, diagnostic tests, children, and VIT. Should be a free download, but if you have trouble I have a paper copy. I was going to build into the resource document but it made it too heavy, better a topic on its own.

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So would I.

 

DJC you're pretty well informed, but I recommend to take a look at this, you may not have seen it.

Diagnosis and management of hymenoptera venom allergy: British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI) guidelines. Krishna et al. Clinical & Experimental Allergy, (2011) 41, 1201-1220.

Evidence-based guidance prepared by the Standard of Care Committee on epidemiology, risk, diagnostic tests, children, and VIT. Should be a free download, but if you have trouble I have a paper copy. I was going to build into the resource document but it made it too heavy, better a topic on its own.

 

:) thanks Dave - found a copy. no, not particularly informed on the detail at this point. unfortunately my experience of our GP has not been too far from Kerry and Frazer's. But that's about to change.. whether he likes it or not. ;)

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It's also got me thinking as well. Our daughter had an anaphalaxis reaction to a beesting last time she was stung she now living in the North Island well away from bees but does come home now and then so maybe it's something we should look into while she's in the big smoke

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