Elizabeth Downs wears a beekeeper’s protective suit and lifts a honeycomb full of bees.

Courtesy of family

I’m a Bee’s Best Friend!

Third-grader Elizabeth Downs explains how she helps honeybees in her Maine community.

Courtesy of family

Do you have a hobby that you love? Mine is beekeeping. I take care of 150,000 honeybees!

I first got interested in bees while working in my family’s garden. I learned that bees are responsible for pollinating many plants, like berries and veggies. Bees spread pollen from flower to flower while they look for nectar to eat. Pollination helps plants make seeds so they can grow new plants.

I got some bees as a gift, and adult helpers taught me what to do. Soon I was caring for five hive boxes. Once every two weeks, I check them to make sure the hives are healthy. To keep from getting stung, I wear a jacket with a hood and a screen over my face. I wear gloves and long pants too. It doesn’t always work. I’ve been stung more times than I can count!

In the late summer and early fall, I collect honey. Honeybees make honey out of nectar. They save honey in the hive so they have something to eat in winter. But they usually make a lot extra. I bottle the extra honey from my hives and share it. It’s really good!

Someday I want to start a bee school to teach people how they can help these pollinators.

One thing people can do is to be careful about the chemicals they use in their gardens or yards. Some are dangerous for bees. And bees are important!

Linda Coan O’Kresik/Bangor Daily News

A hive box has panels called frames. Honeybees build a wax honeycomb in each frame and fill it with honey. 

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