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The Kid Should See This

How (and why) do bees sting?

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In late June and early July, The Wildwood Trust in Kent can have around one million honeybees buzzing around their 28 hives. One million! During her visit to the woodland park, Maddie Moate asks: “What’s the first thing you think about when you see a single bee flying around your garden?” Some might think about honey, pollination, and bee hives but, “for lots of us,” she empathizes, “it’s ‘is it going to sting me?'” And that can feel super scary.

One of the bee questions I get asked most is WHY do bees sting?! Honey bees rarely sting for any reason other than defense and needn’t be anything to be scared of. So, I made a video and a DIY honey bee stinger to help me explain how and why they do it!

Follow this video with a look at these helpful diagrams and vocabulary lists on honeybee’s anatomy. Plus, more on honey bee biology from Cornell University and The Nature Conservancy.

bee stingers
bees sting - stinger explainer
Moate has an entire educational video series about honeybees, thanks to her and her mother’s back yard hive. Of course, not everyone has the opportunity to take care of their own back yard hive, so what can you do if you want to help honeybees?

In the video below, Moate demonstrates how to make a bee cafe, “a one pot stop for our pollinator friends no matter where you live.” Add some orange slices on skewers and it may be a good stop for local butterflies, too.

bee cafe - diy how to

Watch more Maddie Moate videos on this site and on YouTube.

Plus: How Bees See the Invisible and the first 21 days of a bee’s life, an incredible time-lapse in 64 seconds.

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