We recently had a visitor come to stay. Our five year old brought home his class bear from school, Billy Bear. The idea is that each child in the reception class has a chance to take Billy Bear home for a weekend and the child takes him with them out and about. Imagine the excitement when Billy Bear arrived with his little rucksack, own wellies, raincoat and rain hat. The other two boys were so excited and the three of them spent ages dressing Billy in his outfits. His first day with us Billy Bear was treated to a shopping trip to Asda 36 miles away and as he was such a good little bear he was allowed to have a MacDonald’s with the boys.
On the Sunday it was Trystan’s turn to go and help his Dadcu (grandad) with his bees. My dad started keeping bees just over a year ago and now has 3 hives. Every weekend the older two boys take it in turn to help him tend the hives. Trystan wanted to take Billy Bear with him as he thought he would like to see the bees and maybe try some of their honey.
Trystan got into his bee keeping suit on he and Billy Bear went down to the hives with Dadcu. The bee keeping suit that you can see Trystan wearing in the photo’s is an all in one with a built in hat and Vail to stop the bees stinging him. Before they could open the hives Dadcu used his smoker to calm the bees down so it would be safe to open them. He then carefully lifted out each frame to check for brood. Brood are the embryo or egg of the honey bee. Billy helped to check each frame. He was very brave and didn’t mind the bees at all.
Tystan and Billy then helped to look for signs of a Queen Bee in each of the three hives. A Queen Bee is an adult female and she is the mother of most of the bees in the colony. Dadcu carefully cleaned the excess wax from each frame in turn before replacing them back in the hive. After about an hour they had finished checking all the hives and it was time to change out of their suits.
It was quite a warm day so I made them all lovely cold drinks but Billy wanted honey instead. As he had been such a helpful bear Dadcu gave him a jar of honey. Billy took the jar and thanked Dadcu for such an interesting afternoon and went to sit in the shade with his honey. That is where we found him sleeping half an hour later with an empty honey jar next to him, what a greedy little bear!
We certainly all had a lovely weekend with Billy Bear, I wonder where his next adventure will take him.