Last week was our final week of lessons. DH has had a bit of leave before he goes down to Plymouth on Sunday and so this week we really wanted to spend a bit of time together with no commitments as we are only following in three weeks.
At the moment we are looking at bees in our Nature Studies. In our first lesson we had a general introduction to bees. In our second lesson I wanted to focus on Honey Bees.
I was thrilled to be able to arrange with a friend of mine for us to visit her beautiful home and for her to show us her honey bees. Her dad used to keep bees while she was growing up and she has now taken on the same hobby.
We arranged to meet on Wednesday (last week). It was a warm and sunny afternoon, simply glorious in every way. We walked through a rose-laden archway into her back garden.
And what a garden! Oh my - it's beautiful. If I was a bee living here I would be VERY happy :) I definitely had an attack of garden envy when I looked at her thriving veggie patch LOL. As you know I have been unable to plant one this year due to our move to Devon soon. But I am certainly inspired for next years garden for sure.
My lovely friend had a display set up for us, she showed us the different components of a hive and how it fits together and works. She gave us a fascinating talk on honey bees, we learnt so many interesting things. In fact her talk was so interesting and she clearly is so passionate about what she does that it is rather catchy! My eldest has since expressed an interest in bee keeping one day. That's what I love about a living (Charlotte Mason) education - speak to people who are passionate about what they do rather than read a dry textbook!
The girls got suited up for their visit down to the hives.
I think that there was a mixture of excitement and nervousness. As it happened my friend had been stung while gardening (not while dealing with her bees) and had had quite a severe allergic reaction. I think that my youngest was particularly nervous. Thank goodness for safe bee apparel :)
We walked down a little path past the veggie patch down to the hives. This was a far as I could go not being suited up (not enough suites) so I took a few snaps of the hives and retreated to a safe distance where my zoom lens could come into play :) (thank goodness for zoom lenses lol).
I have to say that there was something quite peaceful about observing the girls explore the hives from a distance. The sun was warm and all was quiet, the sound of birds and bees going about their business.
Nature clearly loves this garden, the bird feeder was as busy as Heathrow airport! Even the pheasants boldly walked across the lawn.
As I sat there watching this flurry of nature descend on this lovely English garden, I was inspired to create a wildlife haven in our new garden and have started to formulate a plan for our new garden. These wildlife homes will form part of the framework of our nature study plans for next year.
What a lovely field trip and what a great way to wrap up our 2015 nature studies. It's great to end on a high and inspirational note. When we resume our studies in the autumn we will start with making a bee hotel for bumble bees :)