“My son is autistic and he goes through times where he is hyper focused on certain things. Right now his hyper focus is bees and honey. He wants to be a beekeeper and he's learning everything he can about it. He is homeschooled as well so since he wants to learn about it that means I have to as well! He has his little garden going in the backyard already but I told him if he can keep it going we would expand, he's been doing so well that it's time for me to keep up my end of the deal.
He is not able to attend public school because they don't offer the assistance that he needs. We have tried private schools and special needs schools but he needs one on one assistance all of the time so none of that ever worked out. I had to quit working to stay home with him back in 2018 and we started homeschooling right away.
His interests are all over the place from one subject to the next but then he will get into what they call hyperfocus mode and he gets fixated on one particular subject. Sometimes it is the ocean, sometimes how the human body functions, sometimes it's vehicles and how they work. What he is on now and what has seemed to have taken over is Beekeeping. He is watching videos all the time, learning about the different kinds of bees and how they live and now he's working on a garden to attract them and help take care of them.
He learned that bees are disappearing at a rapid pace and he wants to be the one who helps save them. This is all new to me. I worked in landscaping with my dad for a lot of years and saw a lot of plants and can identify a lot but I never really learned what was good for bees or butterflies because it was easier to just swat them out of the way! Now that he has taken such an interest I have to learn. We focus a lot on the garden, we learn what we are doing that brings the bees and what we are doing that doesn't work. We have joined a couple of groups on Facebook that help us along the way.
I have learned to work his education around his interest by things like vocabulary, Apiary, Royal Honey, Waggle Dance.. What do they mean, how do you spell it.. and things like if you have 5 cases of honey and each honey contains 6 jars, how much honey do you have? We have gone to several different places that offer local honey and bought jars of different types to compare and see if the different flowers make different flavors. And we have friends from different states that help us by sending him honey from their area to try. It's really been pretty cool that he's gotten so much support from people around us!
I went through the plant list with him and showed him your website pictures and of course he wants some of everything! He needs to start charging these bees for all of our work first though!
Its going to be a small list but I'm really grateful that you guys are willing to work with us.
It's funny because I worked in landscaping for a very long time and my father still does but neither one of us really knew which plants were good for bees and butterflies. I mean we know which ones attract them but not necessarily which ones helped them reproduce. I know now that's for sure.”