View Full Version : Age limit for children

01-06-2010, 11:26 PM
Just wanted to see if any Association had an age limit on children attending Apiary Meetings/Courses etc? Whilst we want to get children inspired to try beekeeping, this can really only happen by letting them see inside a hive, but the practicalities of protecting 3, 4 & 5 year olds from bee stings etc is a nightmare. Our present policy is that under 18's must be accompanied by an adult but we don't have a policy on age limits. The current interest in beekeeping has meant that many adults want to bring their children to meetings and i would appraciate any experience others may have re this. cheers, Tony, Moray Beekeepers Association

02-06-2010, 09:08 AM
Tony, I can't help with your question, but perhaps you could help with a question of mine re: children and bees?
My 6-year-old nephew is visiting this week, and is fascinated by bees and really keen to see inside the hive. He's pretty sensible and immune to pain (apparantly!). They live in Alaska so he's outdoorsy and good at doing what he's told when he has to. My bees are pretty placid and I'd err on the side of caution re: choosing good weather and closing up the hive if things didn't go well. With as much bee-proofing as possible, is this still a stupid idea? Or should it go fine? My sister is terrified of bees so won't be going near but is keen that he can see the bees. His Dad would be there though. Is this a terrible idea? Any tips?

02-06-2010, 10:05 AM
...With as much bee-proofing as possible...

I know this has been shown here before, but just scroll forward to 2 minutes:


Let the kids enjoy the bees and count yourself lucky if they are interested.

02-06-2010, 11:15 AM
Can't think when our daughter first started playing with bees - probably watching us hiving swarms, which she loves. She was always fascinated by insects and used to draw any interesting ones she spotted before coming in to look them up in the insect book. She borrows her dad's bee jacket and gloves (!) if she's helping me with any jobs in the apiary.

As far as associations are concerned, so far we have only one under-18 member and he'll be attending meetings with his dad. Otherwise, I think there might be problems with needing Disclosure forms and all that jazz. Maybe the bigger associations have info on this.

02-06-2010, 01:06 PM
I don't believe that we have an age limit per se but we do ask that under 18s are accompanied to apiary meetings by an adult and that the guardian signs a release form. The biggest pain we seem to have encountered so far is around photography during apiary meetings when there are kids present although that might be the committee over reacting to the usual badly worded legislation.

From a practical point of view I don't think we've ever had a situation where 5 year olds were in the actual apiary area, at least not when I've been there but we put the onus firmly on the parent to accept that while kids are welcome, we can't guarantee that they wont get stung and they accept that photography might be going on while the hives are open. Outside of the apiary itself it's not uncommon to have a variety of kids of all ages from toddlers upwards hanging around the place.

03-06-2010, 09:43 PM
Hi Anne and all, Re your 6 year old nephew. It's your own apiary and your own bees so let him see them! If he has a protective suit on the risk is no greater for him as it is for his dad, as long as his dad can keep him under control. The difference with our situation is that it is an Association Event as oppossed to your own apiary and bees, so we have to consider insurance/risk assessments etc. This is true for whatever age of person visiting but due to the practicalities of getting protective suits for 3, 4, and 5 year olds we have to decide whether we make a policy decision, e.g. no under 5's at our meetings or whatever. cheers, Tony

09-06-2010, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the advice /encouragement! Nephew had a look at the bees at the weekend - he was a bit nervous at first, but was soon peering in, both unfazed and fascinated. No stings, no upset of any kind. Was very taken with the drones and intrigued by the different colours of pollen. Even my bee-phobic sister had a look, though she did keep ducking out to "admire the scenery" from a distance away occasionally.
I can appreciate how difficult it would be on an association visit to have kids around though.