It occurred to me that with all the travelling we have done in the past few years, one of the first things I would do was look up bugs/plants that might be poisonous and make sure I knew how to identify them- but here, since I'm in my home country, I don't pay as much attention. I decided my kids needed to be aware of the pests that inhabit the yard and how to deal with them in case of a problem. First up, bees and wasps.
I downloaded some pictures online of a few of the most common bees and wasps we see around here, honeybee, bumble bee, hornet, yellow jacket, and paper wasp. Then, I got pictures of honeycomb, hives, and nests. I printed them out with their name written above the picture, laminated them, and tied them together with a string:
My oldest son used the internet to look up some advice for what to do if you are attacked by a swarm of bees or wasps. The best advice he said is to run away as fast as you can and seek shelter. He said you can try to go near flowers to distract them too. NEVER try to swat them away, that will just make them more angry.
For our thrill challenge for the day, all the kids tried a spoonful of honey:
If you are looking for more information about bees and wasps, here are a few sites you might like:
Mass Audubon Society- information about bees and wasps common to the state of Massachusetts
Adkins Bee Removal- identification charts for common bees and wasps
Brown County Beekeepers Association- good pictures of common backyard bees and wasps, and nests
Insect Identification- information about common insects you might see in your yard
Honey Bee Research- good advice on what to do if being attacked by bees
Wikihow- how to treat a sting
Getting rid of things- how to get rid of bees nests (with links for hornet, yellow jackets, and other wasps)