Kids Newsletter September 2017

honey bee and honey pots

National Honey Month!

September is National Honey Month! Not only is it a time to celebrate the sweet treat, it's also a time to celebrate the bees that make it all happen.

Everyone knows honeybees make honey, but their contributions hardly end there. Although other insects can pollinate plants, honeybees are premier pollinators because they are available throughout the growing season and pollinate a wide range of crops, including almonds, apples, avocados, cucumbers, melons, pears and many more. In fact, about one-third of the U.S. diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants, and honeybees are responsible for an impressive 80 percent of that process.

Check out "Wild Kratts – Episode 110: Honey Seekers" to see Chris and Martin uncover the amazing symbiotic relationships between bees, the honey guide bird and the honey badger – a bond that the team uses to foil the evil plans of Chef Gourmand.

Let's Read

  • book cover"The Honeybee That Learned to Dance" by Sharon Clark
    Hummy is a honeybee who has finally grown big enough to take on the important duties of a forager. She doesn't want to let the other bees down, so she worries about many things. Will she be able to find pollen and nectar to bring back to the colony? What if she gets lost and can't find her way back? And even if she manages to return to the hive with food, will she remember how to dance to tell the others where the food is located? Hummy bravely overcomes her fears and surprises even herself by becoming a superb forager.
  • book cover"Show Me the Honey (Dr. Seuss/Cat in the Hat)" by Tish Rabe
    Where does honey come from? The Cat in the Hat knows that! It comes from bees, and what better way to learn about honey making than to visit inside a hive and see firsthand how it's done? In this rhymed easy reader based on an episode from PBS KIDS television show "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!," the Cat, Sally and Nick, and Things One and Two shrink to bee size. Together they learn how bees communicate via dance, collect nectar and spit it into combs, turn it into honey, and seal the combs with wax.

Did You Know?

  • The honeybee was designated the official state insect of Arkansas in 1973.
  • When sealed in an airtight container, honey is one of the few foods known to have an eternal shelf life.
  • On average, a honeybee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey over the course of its life.
  • Not all honey is made by bees. The Mexican honey wasp also produces honey on a large scale.
  • Bees pollinate $20 billion worth of U.S. crops each year.
  • There are over 25,000 species of bees worldwide.
  • An adult worker bee's lifespan is about 45 days during summer months.
  • In the 1830s (and possibly much earlier), some honey vendors started sporting "bee beards" as a way to draw attention to their products. This is done by holding a caged queen bee beneath your chin and allowing the bees to cluster across your face.
  • Honey is the only insect-produced food source that humans eat.
  • The honeybee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz.
  • A honeybee visits 50 to 100 flowers during a collection trip.
  • Honey is a Hebrew word meaning "enchant."

Let's Be Healthy

  • Take the stairs. Elevators and escalators are convenient, but they don't help you improve your physical health. It may not seem like much, but all movement counts.
  • Have a family race. Turn the backyard or front yard into an obstacle course.
  • Exercise while watching TV. When your favorite show is on a commercial break, do some jumping jacks.
  • Get connected with nature. With cooler temperatures just around the corner, there's no better time for a walk in the park.
  • Eat honey. Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life.

Let's Have Fun

Father and daughter with supplies

The Honeybee Smelling Activity

What You'll Need
  • Smelly stuff (two of each, for example: oranges, cinnamon, gummy vitamins, mints, mustard, pickles, flowers and honey, of course!)
  • Containers
  • Plastic wrap
  • Sharp pencil
  • Bandana
  • Black and yellow construction paper for a more crafty, bee-inspired blindfold (optional)
Getting Started
  • Line up a series of containers at the end of your kitchen table, one container for every smelly item you plan on using. Place a sample in each container.
  • Cover them tightly with plastic wrap and then use the sharp pencil to poke several small holes in the top — to make smelling the goodies possible but not too easy. Make fewer holes for the really pungent stuff like cinnamon, and more holes for flowers, nuts and mint candies. Repeat the process down at the other end of your table. If you have a round table then you've got all curves and no ends, so just make the best of it!
  • Make sure that when you are done, you have two of each sample (one on each end of the table) so that your little one can find the match. Now mix up the order of one set of containers to make this smelling activity a true challenge!
How To Play
  • Have your child take a good, strong sniff of the first sample at one end of the table, inhaling the scent through the small holes in the plastic wrap. Instruct them to store that smell away as they buzz their way to the other side of the table where you've placed the second set of samples. Now, see if they can locate the matching scent like a bee.
  • Let them continue going from side to side until all the smelly matches have been discovered.

Let's Get Creative

Paper Bee Hand Puppet

  • Construction paper
  • Black marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Wiggle eye stickers (optional)
  • Trace the bee body parts on the construction paper. Trace the bee body on yellow construction paper (draw the stripes with a black marker), the legs on black paper, the wings on light blue paper and the stinger on the black paper too.
  • Glue the wings on the body of the bee. Fold them up a bit (and crease) to make them more movable.
  • Fold the legs accordion style and glue them on the bottom side of the body.
  • Glue the stinger on the bottom side of the body.
  • Glue the strap on the bottom side of the body.
  • Slide your hand into the strap. You're ready to play!

Let's Go Exploring

bees in bee hive

Local Bee Farms

The honeybee was designated the official state insect of Arkansas in 1973. Visit a bee farm in your area to learn all about honeybees and their contribution to the world. Some state parks even offer educational programs and exhibits about honeybees.

Let's Cook

Peanut Butter and Honey Sandwich

PB & H Honey and Apple Sammie

Yield: 4 servings

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 8 thick slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 green apple, thinly sliced (have a parent do the slicing)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (or substitute your favorite nut)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add honey, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix well.
  • Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey cream cheese mixture on 4 slices of bread. Top with apple slices, dividing evenly. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of peanut butter on each of the remaining 4 slices of bread, and place face down on top of cream cheese and apple-covered slices.

What's New

bees in bee hive
  • "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood": "King Daniel for the Day" and new episodes – airing Sept. 4-8 at 8:30 a.m. each day.
  • "Peg + Cat: The Pig Problem/The Mariachi Problem" – airing Sept. 15 at noon. Peg and Cat kick of Hispanic Heritage Month with an all-new episode featuring traditional Mexican music.
  • "Splash and Bubbles" – new episodes airing Sept. 25-29 at 9:30 a.m. each day.
  • "Sesame Street" - On Monday, Sept. 18, everybody's favorite furry monsters debut an all-new season of "Sesame Street" on AETN. In Season 47, "Sesame Street" will introduce a kindness curriculum to foster behaviors that can have significant outcomes throughout a child's life. The lovable monsters and diverse human cast model positive interactions by valuing inclusion, listening to and respecting others, and being empathetic, warm and generous, illustrating for both parents and children how to be caring and compassionate citizens.

Sept. 30 - AETN will be partnering with Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs for AETN Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet PBS KIDS characters Nature Cat and Super WHY! Join us for fun activities and giveaways from AETN and PBS KIDS.

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