Kids and Bees Handbook - At Long Last!

Originally published for the American Beekeeping Federation's E-Buzz. 

Many years ago I had the great privilege of being the keynote speaker at the launch of the International Bee Research Association’s “BEEWORLD” kid’s project.  As part of the launch, IBRA produced a 20+ page booklet featuring curriculum, beekeeping vocabulary, stories, honey-based recipes, and more.  The packet was aimed at European educators, and published in a handful of mainland European languages as well as the Queen’s English.   I was so inspired by the project, I wanted to create a similar version of the booklet for Americans in partnership with the American Beekeeping Federation and the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees.

When I started this project off, I imagined it would take a few weeks.  This labor of love, however, has taken years to publish!  Every year I learned more and more that I wanted to share.  Also, I constantly receive questions via workshops I teach, email, and phone calls from beekeepers looking for tips on how to teach kids about bees.  I formulated each topic into a new section of the handbook, which kept growing and growing.  In 2018, after realizing that I could keep revising this handbook for the next decade, but it would be of no benefit locked away in my computer, I decided to set an official launch date for January 11th, 2019.  This will be congruent with the Kids and Bees event at the American Beekeeping Federation’s Conference and Tradeshow in Myrtle Beach, California.   

This handbook is a guide for educators to begin, or build on, their own kids bee programs and events.  It is a collection of curriculum, pointers on how to talk about awkward topics (stings, mating), lists of resources to find educational materials and supplies, ideas on funding your program, thoughts on safety and waivers, and so much more. 

The “Kids and Bees Handbook” is available online, for free, to anyone in the world. Click here for the English version, and here for the bilingual English/Spanish version. If you prefer to buy a printed and bound copy of the book, order here.  

As a thank you for their time and talents at the ABF Kids and Bees event in Myrtle Beach, all volunteers will receive a hardcopy of the handbook.  If you would like to volunteer at the event from 8:00am - 12:00pm on January 11th at the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Hotel, please contact program coordinator, Phylicia Chandler, at  Any extra copies will be brought to my workshop “Passing It On: Educating Children about Honey Bees” on Saturday morning at the ABF conference.       

I hope you will enjoy using the contents of this book as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Please let me know any thoughts you have on, or successes you have with, the handbook at  Stay up to date on our programs and publications at  I am currently working on having this handbook translated into multiple languages.  One such exciting project is a full Mowhawk transition, in partnership with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council.  You can expect a full English version, as well as a bi-lingual Spanish/English version in January.  Also, please tag us in pictures you snap of your own events, lessons, programs, etc. on Twitter and Facebook @kidsandbees #kidsandbees

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Sarah Red-LairdComment