A beehive is not like the typical childhood lemonade stand.
And you probably wouldn’t take live bees to a science fair.
But for sisters, Sophia and Lily, this beehive is a budding business and a science lab. Where did these two young girls find the inspiration to take up beekeeping? Creative Discovery Museum!
The girls and their family found their passion for bees when they came to the annual Honey Harvest Festival at the Museum. There they watched beekeepers extract honey, tasted different varieties and learned about beekeeping. “They worked the room 3 or 4 times trying every kind of honey,” says their dad.
As a result, and with some help from the Tenn. Valley Beekeepers Assoc., Sophia and Lily started their first hive in March. Every three weeks, the girls don their beekeeping suits and inspect the hives. Over time they have added more boxes as the colony grew. Lily explains that “bees are gentle and only sting to protect their hive or if they are agitated.” The have learned firsthand all about the process of a bee’s life from egg hatching to how royal jelly makes a queen. “They communicate with a wiggle dance,” they add with a giggle.
The hives are more than a hobby for the girls. “Honey is the most delicious part, but going through the experience is rewarding enough,” Sophia adds. Beekeeping provides hands-on lessons for homeschooling and their own business. The girls have learned about pricing their honey to be competitive and make a profit. They have already sold honey to family and friends.
Sophia says that their hives have done well because when they are working with the hives she and her sister are calm and “treat the bees with respect.” Every 2 to 3 weeks they open the hives to inspect them noting the growth and health of the colony. They also search for the queen which is their favorite part of the inspection.
When children discover their passions, you can inspire their lives forever. Your support can provide more meaningful experiences and programs like Honey Harvest and inspire all children to explore, innovate, create and play.
Why do we need your help? Because ticket sales, memberships and program fees only cover 60% of our annual operating budget. Special programs, traveling exhibits and school outreach require additional support from our friends like you.
Creative Discovery Museum is a non-profit community asset created first and foremost for the families of Chattanooga, serving over 250,000 people each year. As an annual fund donor, your gift to the Museum will be an investment in our kids, “sparking” a love of science, art and learning that lasts a lifetime. Your gift will help pay for:
- New traveling exhibits from the top children’s museums in the country.
- Free admission to the Museum for over 35,000 needy children and families a year.
- Educational special events such as Honey Harvest Festival and Chinese New Year School programs that serve over 35,000 students a year in the classroom.
- Museum Apprentice Program where 100 teens develop life and leadership skills.
At the Honey Harvest Festival this summer, Sophia and Lily came back as volunteers at the Museum. Lily and Sophia, dressed in their own beekeeping suits, set up a booth to tell guests about their experience keeping hives. Their favorite part of the festival is making lip balm and soap with beeswax, but the girls are hard workers and very enthusiastic about sharing their passion for bees. Beekeeping and helping in the Museum is quality time for the whole family.
Their parents discuss with the girls how beekeeping affects their world, benefits society, and how it may be an applicable business. “We want to incorporate all these aspects in their experiences,” says their mother. “We want to teach them how to approach stressful situations, but still have courage,” adds their dad.
“It’s amazing,” says Lily about the Museum. “There are so many cool things.” And Sophia also says there are “good experiences for kids to learn and experiment.” Their dad agrees. “The Museum allows families to interact and learn creatively. It is a unique place that gives parents the opportunity to interact with kids hands-on.” He adds the Museum and the beekeeping are “building family memories the girls will always remember.”
Please make your tax-deductible gift today. With your partnership, we can make Chattanooga the best place for a child to grow up. That is our vision.