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Robin Pizzo, WKAR director of education, responds to frequently asked questions from parents and educators

Q: How can I lessen a child’s fear of bees?

A: Teaching a young learner the importance of bees to our food supply and nature can help decrease their fear. We often fear the unknown. There is no guarantee, but decreasing the mystery of bugs, in particular bees, can help make them less scary.

As a mom and educator, I always begin a new exploration with books. Therefore, visiting the local library to select books on bees including fiction and non-fiction titles is a great start. Understanding that bees are essential in producing fruits, honey and pollinating plants -- which keeps the cycle of life turning -- is a big plus in understanding how important bees are. Taking special care around bees helps decrease fears too. Bees do sting, but only if responded to in a hostile way like swatting. Funny thing, I recently discovered they also sing. Their buzzing songs can be heard when they are busy at work. 

After reading a variety of genres on the topic, encourage young learners to talk about what they know, what they want to know and what they learned about bees. In teacher language, a chart like this is called a K-W-L. Once the child has had an opportunity to respond, seek out the answers and more fun with crafts. Check out how to make a wild bee hotel in this week’s newsletter. 

Happy Learning, 

Mrs. Pizzo

Robin Pizzo leads the education outreach efforts of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the PBS and NPR affiliate serving Michigan's capital region. Robin convenes partnerships and coordinates station initiatives such as WKAR Family and Ready to Learn to bring workshops, learning tools, and other resources into the community to help kids be resilient, lifelong learners.
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