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Ettamarie Peterson,
and her involvement with teaching children about bees and beekeeping

Ettamarie Peterson Ettamarie heard of Sr. Catherine due to the An Beachaire article and contacted her via the internet. She is a retired teacher and now spends a lot of time volunteering in classrooms teaching about bees and has thousands of children come to visit her and her husband Ray's farm to learn about bees, mainly in October when she also sells pumpkins, but some also come in the Spring and Summer.

On a recent day she taught eight classes of 2nd and 3rd graders at their school's 'Science Day'. The children were fascinated, as always, by the observation hive.

The three most common questions "Where's the queen? How did you get the bees in there? and of course, Do you ever get stung?" Since this took place in the swarming season, she included a lot of information about swarms and what to do when you find one.

Ettamarie is enthusiastic and enjoys making this work fun for the children.

Ettamarie's observation hive

The picture is of children looking at her observation hive at the 'Earth Day' event at a Boys' and Girls' Club.

Ettamarie and her local teacher have used Sr. Catherine's 20 questions and were surprised many of the children did not know that bees have 6 legs. They all thought the buzz was from the wings flapping. One answer to the value of honey bees was 'They clean the flowers'. Generally they figured bees live for a year or more. Many knew about pollination and many stated humans were enemies of bees... how right they are! They also think bees hibernate in the hives over the winter.

The children usually described the bee's colour as yellow and black striped... No wonder they mix them up with yellow jackets (wasps).

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Written... 10 May 2002
Revised... dd month 2002