By Jade Horner-Chinappi
On June 9, 2015 the Kindergarten and Cycle 1 students of Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West visited the extensive grounds of the Apiary and mini farm of Intermiel in Mirabel, Quebec.
For over 20 years, this award winning company has not only produced tantalizing honey based products, they have also made it their mission to educate and enlighten the public, especially elementary school aged children to the fascinating world of bees.
The first stop of the day was to a mini farm where delighted students were treated to not only being able to view miniature horses, rabbits, chickens, sheep and goats, but also to have the special opportunity to hold a few of them, and even let a chicken stand on their head!
After burning some of their energy at the on site playground, and fueling hungry stomachs at lunch, the children were off to meet the Beekeeper of Intermiel. In an enthusiastic and informative show, she explained to the children all about the various types of bees that make up a hive, and how all the bees work together. Then, brave volunteers donned special protective suits in order to meet the bees up close! As her assistants waited for her, the Beekeeper, carefully held a hive frame, and slowly walked around showing everyone (safe behind protective screening) the busy bees hard at work.
Following that excitement, it was on to the Extraction room where eager hands reached for a taste of sweet honey and also chocolate with honey, which was all prepared on site.
The last part of the day was a fun puppet show and exploration of the Discovery Room, where the walls were decorated with insect specimens and posters. The tables held lots of fun games and books about bees and nature. The biggest draw of all though, was the wall of bees! Honey bees danced behind protective glass panels while little faces stared in wonder at the show!