In the month of April 2015, Soil&Water visited Google for a Bee tour. Thank you Google beekeepers for inviting us to the campus and sharing your knowledge of beekeeping. We are really very thankful to Google for their support and collaboration with Soil&Water. They have also funded the Soil&Water Gardening project and are supporting us so many ways. Google has been so welcoming to us.
The Bee tour was arranged for kids to show them whole process of honey making. The tour with Google @Google campus was scheduled on April 2nd 2015 @ 1530hrs. It was a one hour tour and was very informative for all of us. The kids got to learn about the process of making honey and explore the surroundings.
Kids love honey and also very curious to know 'how bees make honey?' and 'What equipment is used to go near the Hive?' ''What is the use of wearing a suite?' and at last they all got to taste the fresh, pure and natural honey. We could even see different colors of Honey formed from various types of flowers.
Honey Bees collect pollen and nectar from many types of flowers and stores this in their stomach to carry to the Bee hive. They use their long tongue to take the nectar from various flowers. After storing in stomach for a while, It drops (essentially spits) the honey into the Bee-wax comb which is usually hexagonal shaped cells and made of wax formed by bees. They repeat this process until the Bee-wax comb is full. Once its full and honey is collected it is ready for harvesting. This process is so amazingly perfect (take another look at the photo of the hive).
Beekeepers wear a protective suit to go near the hive. The kids got to see and have explained to them how to wear this suit. Google keeps four hives.
The second thing they need is a 'Smoker'. Bee keepers use a smoker to visit the Bee hive in order to prevent them from stinging. A smoker is a tool to blow smoke into the beehive before inspecting. It consists of a fire pot and nozzle. During the tour, the bee keeper asked the kids to fill the fire pot with some dried leaves and the bee keeper closed the lid and lit the fire and smoke came out through the nozzle. This is used because smoke alerts the bees to move further down in the hive (they sense danger and so move inward to protect themselves) so that a beekeeper can safely access the hive without disturbing the bees.
Finally, we were lucky enough to have the bees share some of their yummy honey with us. The kids got to break the delicate honey-filled comb to sample wonderful honey. We could see different layers and different colors of honey formation. These variations in color are due to the type of nectar the bees gather. All the kids fell in love with it and the whole tour was spectacular. Once finished, the beekeepers replace the frame into the hive and the bees will simply continue to refill the honey and rebuild the comb. Amazing!