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Part of my goal in parenting is to teach my kids to be good stewards of our Earth. We do it in small ways such as limiting our trash by recycling and donating instead; using an organic company to treat our lawn; and teaching them about our environment. Over the weekend that included trips to the zoo and a local organic farm. There were a number of similarities between the two including a little lesson in bees.
It’s scary news that there are bees on the endangered species list. We need these special creatures to help with pollination so that we can have fresh fruits and vegetables to enjoy. At the zoo we stopped to learn more about the honey bees at a special section devoted just to them where we even got to witness a few in action in their hive.
At the farm, we learned about the various animals the owners raise and the produce they grow. The farmer explained to us how the plants grow from seeds and eventually flower to create the fruits and vegetables we enjoy eating. They need bees to assist in pollination for this process to be successful.
While we didn’t get to see the hives, he explained that he pays a beekeeper to supply him with some. The bees also produce honey that the farm is able to sell so the bees share a very important role on his organic farm as both a field worker and a producer of a crop.
Both days I packed bottles of Honest® Tea for my husband & I to enjoy. It was a nice, cool and refreshing beverage on some rather hot North Carolina spring days. After the visit to the organic farm, I even further appreciated that Honest® Tea is USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified.
I found the bottles on an end cap in the Nature’s Market organic section at my local Kroger. Brewed with real tea leaves, it tastes similar to what we brew for ourselves only in an assortment of fun flavors including the new unsweetened Peach Ginger.
After learning about the bees, we discussed ways we could help as a family. While we aren’t prepared to own a beehive, we knew there were other things we could do such as provide a bit of shelter for solitary bees. These bees are just as important in helping with pollination and, since they don’t have hives, occasionally need a spot to call “home” whether for a temporary visit to get out of the rain or to stay more permanently while working in our yard.
Be sure to grab your digital coupon for .25 off 1 bottle. It can be used up to 5 times in one transaction at Kroger and all Kroger divisions. End 4/22/17.
Best of all, thanks to my shopping trip, we had plastic bottles and a paper grocery bag to get us started on our project. Ready to give the pollinators in your yard a little help? Here’s how to create your own Bee Hotel …
- Empty Honest® Tea bottle (rinsed out and completely dry)
- Paper Kroger bags
- String or twine
- Utility knife
Step 1 Rinse out your plastic drink bottle and let it fully dry. Remove the label.
Step 2 Carefully cut off the top portion of the bottle using a utility knife. ** Adults only **
Step 3 Cut approximately (30) 2″ x 5.5″ rectangles* from your paper grocery bag. These don’t have to be perfect. I just quickly used a ruler to measure and draw some. Then I cut them out with scissors.
*Note: check that 5.5″ will fit into your bottle without sticking out. We cut 6 strips at 5″ long to account for the raised section in the center of the bottle.
Step 4 Roll each piece of paper around a pencil to create a “straw” shape. Remove from pencil. If you want your “straw” a bit tighter, re-roll the now curved piece using your fingers.
You can use a small bit of tape of glue to secure at the midpoint. The “straws” do not need to all be the same diameter. Have fun mixing it up!
Step 5 Insert each of your paper bag “straws” into the bottle until the space is completely filled.
Step 6 Add a string or twine to hang your bottle with. The Honest® Tea bottles have groves in them that are perfect for securing your string in place.
Step 7 Hang in a sunny spot in your yard and wait for your winged guests to arrive!
Remember: this is not a honey bee hive. It’s intention is for solitary bees and ladybugs. You won’t get honey from this. 😉
Find more craft and recipe fun using Honest® Tea here.