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Honeybees: A Homeschool Field Trip to Draper's Super Bee Apiaries (DVD)

De Frahn Family Productions

19 Clark Road
Waverly, New York 14892

How doth the busy little bee
Improve each shining hour,
And gather honey all the day
From every opening flower!
--Isaac Watts

Without a doubt, honeybees are industrious little creatures. And after watching this video, Honeybees: A Homeschool Field Trip to Draper's Super Bee Apiaries, you'll agree that beekeeping and honey production are "sweet" and interesting occupations!

The De Frahns, a homeschooling family from Waverly, New York, have done all of us a service by producing excellent and informational field trips on DVD. In this particular video, the De Frahn family takes a trip to Draper's Super Bee Apiaries in Millerton, Pennsylvania. Royal Draper, grandson of the founder, gives a thorough presentation of his family-operated business in a very enjoyable manner. You can tell he definitely knows how to 'mind his beeswax'! I learned more interesting facts and information about honey and honeybees from this video than I would have ever thought possible.
    For example, did you know . . .
  1. European settlers first brought honeybees to North America in the 1600s in hollow logs that were stored in the ship's hold?
  2. Honeybees were first important for their beeswax, not for their honey?
  3. Honeybees must eat eight pounds of honey to produce one pound of wax?
  4. The queen bee can lay up to 2000 eggs per day, and she can determine whether the new baby bee will be a boy or a girl?
  5. A honeycomb is one of nature's strongest substances, second only to a spider's web?
  6. Draper's Super Bee Apiaries sell bees by the pound, and they supply honey to the White House?
The 68-minute DVD covers the history, habits, and communication methods of the different types of honeybees. It also includes great information about beekeeping--how the hives are tended, what kind of suits and equipment are used, and how the honey and beeswax are harvested and processed.

Following the footage of the actual field trip, the De Frahns added quite a few extras to the DVD. There are many excellent unit study ideas incorporating math, history, science, art, health, English, and music (with two original Scripture-based songs that pertain to the theme). I appreciated all the wonderful suggestions and resources for further exploration.

The De Frahns offer other field trip DVDs as well, including ones about maple syrup, a cider press, and the Spangler Candy Company. The cost is $20.00 for the first video and $18.00 for additional videos. Now, the De Frahns call these field trips informal, and that's exactly what they are. So don't expect perfectly polished videography. However, the information and ideas you receive from these videos far outweigh any concern about less-than-Hollywood-quality filming! Be sure to check out the De Frahns' website for information about upcoming videos.

I think this video would be an interesting and useful addition to any homeschool collection. And you will never have to worry about previewing this wholesome and God- honoring presentation before letting your children watch.

Product review by Amy O'Quinn, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, November 2006

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