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Friday, May 25, 2018

Preschool Fun: World Bee Day (Svetovni Dan Čebel)

Welcome to a new holiday!  May 20th is officially the first World Bee Day - started and promoted by Slovenian beekeepers.

Surprisingly, Slovenia is the bee capital of the world!  They have the largest number of beekeepers/capita!  Here is a link you can go to to find out more about it!  Here is the Facebook page for the World Bee Day, and here is their website.  Slovenia's honey is world-class, there is a long history of beekeeping, and as someone who likes bees, this is great news to me!

Honestly, on actual bee day, pregnancy got the better of me, but I've been making up for it since!  

For starters, here are some "bee" products we love.  These are not all local, Slovenian, but it is all part of supporting bees!


1. Honey - duh.
Or, "med", in Slovene.  The bees in Slovenia are the Carnolian bees.  My personal favorite Slovenian honey is acacia honey.  YUM!  I put honey in my tea, on pork loin, in yogurt, and if you're having a traditional Slovenian breakfast, you have it on butter bread.  Yeah.  It's awesome.  Here's an added tip.  When you use honey, make sure you lick the knife or spoon - apparently that's approximately how much honey ONE bee makes in its life - you wouldn't want to waste a whole life's work!

2. Bee's Wax Candles
There's a stand at our local market that sells bee's wax candles, and we have a couple in our bedroom.  For a fun family activity, you can find "make your own candle" kits on  In school in Hungary, we had a "tradition and heritage" class, and we made bee's wax candles, and it was loads of fun!

This single-use plastic alternative food storage item is cotton fabric, which has been dipped in wax.  You can wrap it around things, or as a lid on a bowl.  It seals because of the warmth of your hands.  It is perfect for fresh produce, cheeses and bread.  Each wrap can be used for about 100 uses - you clean it with cold water and soap.  It's may seem a little expensive up front, but if you're truly cutting out that much plastic wrap and ziplocks, 1) it does end up being cost effective, and 2) obviously it's better for the environment.  I got a set of them for Christmas, and have LOVED using them!

Dan can't live without his Burt's Bees chapstick.  He's one of those people who has a car chapstick, a bedside table chapstick and a pocket chapstick.  He swears by it!  I've been using their belly butter against stretch marks, and we plan on using their products on our baby.  (On a side-note, their baby clothes, burp cloths and bedding are SO soft.  It's totally one of our favorite baby product brands.)

I showed Aidan each of these products, and we talked about how important bees are.  Without bees, there would be no fruit, no coffee... it would be a sad, sad world!


1. Plant a Bee friendly garden
When we lived in Florida, we sowed some seeds in the corner of the yard, in the hopes of growing some flowers for bees.  Unfortunately, it didn't quite pan out.  Here in Slovenia, we have a balcony, so we came up with this way to have an herb/flower garden.  There are some specific plants that attract bees, a few are: lavender, sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary and parsley.  Of course, there are pretty, colorful flowers you could use too, but we were more interested in a "functional" garden.

2. Recycled Bee Craft
 For this beeeee-autiful craft, you'll need two toilet paper rolls, yellow and black paint, newspaper, scissors and a black marker.  
First, you have your kiddo paint a toilet paper roll yellow (for the record, IKEA has great kids' art supplies).  Then, you have them paint a couple black stripes with black paint (I drew a faint line each time to help him stay straight all the way along).
Then, you help them cut out the wing shapes out of newspaper (watch those fingers!!), cut a strip of toilet paper off, cut it in half, have them paint them black, glue them in for antennae, and draw on a face.  Ta-da!!  So cute!

3. Bee Worksheets
 It can be (really) hard to get Aidan to sit down and color, or write, or do much of anything that wasn't his idea.  But he got a HUGE kick out of writing the B-s, and was super excited at how well it was going!
I found this, and a couple other sheets on pinterest.  I looked at them, and tried to pick the ones that were age-appropriate, and that I thought he would like.  This one had a fun, identify-the-letter section, that we used a stamp on, which of course made it tons more fun!


1. Honey Lollipop
 Like I said, Slovenians love their bees and their honey.  There's this great Honey House shop in Ljubljana.  They have honey, honey spreads, candies, lotion, candles, etc.  I bought myself a blueberry money spread, and yes, it is as yummy as it sounds!
 I found this fun honey lollipop for Aidan...
which of course he loved!

2. Honey Comb Snack
For this snack, I used a banana, half a strawberry, some blueberries, and cashews.  Oh, and candy eyes. :)
We talked about how all of these foods (minus the candy eyes) need pollinators, like bees, and how important they are!


1. Wild Kratts Season 1 Episode 10 - Honey Seekers - this episode is about the honey seekers - lions, honey badger - in Africa, and of course the African killer bee!  So much fun!

2. Wild Kratts Season 1 Episode 32 - Flight of the Pollinators - this episode is all about what different pollinators there are - bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, etc.  I seriously always learn something new when we watch Wild Kratts!

3. More Than Honey - this is a really interesting documentary currently (or at least last time I checked) on Netflix. 

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