17 November 2013

Robin's Bay Bee Club

Ten young kids with bright smiles and curious eyes wandered into the yard with two teachers trailing after. Agape started the introductions with oranges before I led them up to Da-Da's yard, where we make the sugar bags. As they settled onto the turquoise picnic table, I explained that I am Deaf and though I can hear them with the aid of my chochlear implant, they needed make sure they had my attention before asking me questions or talking to me and they need to be patient with me. I felt their curiosity swell along with their shyness. Jumping to action, I dumped the cane sugar in the pink basin and watched the kids take turns swirling the sticky sweet mixture with water. Then I guided them through the process of pouring not-too-much and not-too-little syrup into the bags and tying them. Their quick and eager fingers took over. Some of the rambunctious boys pulled off their plastic sandals and started swatting at the hungry bees that came for a treat. I showed them the honeybee that was resting on my sugar-dusted hand and told them to look at her tongue. 'She's hungry and she's only out looking for food to bring home. She won't hurt you if you don't hurt her', I reminded them. All the kids peered with a sparkle in their eye. Some of the boys ceased their swatting and started encouraging the ladies to tickle their sticky hands.

After the bags were filled and carried back to the main yard, the kids were soon running around with delight in oversized bee-suits, veils and gloves. Two smokers were lit and we were on our way to the Robin's Bay Bee Club's ten hives tucked in the bush. We split into two groups, I had one teacher and five kids, the second teacher had the other five. They impressed me as they skillfully puffed a bit of smoke in the entrance and cracked the top-bars. When too much smoke billowed from some their hands, I told them that bees don't have eyelids to blink the smoke away so too much will hurt and upset them. We placed two bags in each hive, including the aggressive one. While the bee suits were being hung on the line to air out, the kids wrote in their journals, wrestled and sang bee songs with watermelon dribbling down their chins. With waves and smiles, they eventually wandered back out the yard with the teachers trailing behind.

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