Kids! I Need Your Input!

toddler Avital in the bee yard
Toddler Avital leaning against a hive. Notice the boots…

Avital has always helped me in the bee yard. When she was a toddler, I let her stand next to hives, and when she turned 5, I bought her a bee suit. The suit is still a bit big, and some of the tasks are over-sized for her, too. But I’m glad she isn’t afraid of bees, and loves them as much as I do.

Notice that she doesn’t wear gloves. Usually, we don’t. She has brushed bees off frames, and held the (often heavy) frames of bees with bare hands. European honey bees, generally speaking, have a mild temperament, and aren’t inclined to sting. I’ve emphasized to her that smooth, gentle movement doesn’t upset the bees.

Avital is a magician in the bee yard!

I love the things that honey bees teach my daughter. They teach her to be calm and gentle. That getting stung hurts, but isn’t the end of the world. That insects are our partners in the food chain, pollinating much of what we rely on to eat, and they deserve our respect and protection. Working with bees teaches her where food comes from: we study which plants the bees the bees pollinate, and which they use to make honey. We garden together and study how we can best take care of those plants, for the bees’ health, and ours.

I’ve wanted to add a kids’ line to my business for a long time. The pairing is so natural, after all. All Purpose Balm started out as a drool rash balm for babies, but I soon realized it wasn’t just for kids. And I think my Ithaca Body Butter is fabulous for a pregnant woman’s belly (shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax are the ingredients I used to fight the horrid itch that can come with stretching skin), but I don’t label it that way.

Bath time with littles can be the best part of the day… or the most frustrating. Is there a kid who hasn’t gone through the bath boycott? So I’ve been thinking about my life as a mom, talking to others, and talking to the wonderful people at Mama Goose in Ithaca about what kids and parents want and need to make tub time relaxing for everyone.

I’m testing my first kid-friendly bath time treats now: foaming bath soap and an after-bath massage butter. Do you have any other ideas for me? I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite scents? Is unscented best for you? Do you have worries about any particular ingredients? Do you have favorite ingredients? I want to create bath time fun that really addresses Logo for a kids line?what you’re looking for!

Oh, and a certain young artist has provided me with a logo. What do you think?



  1. Renan says

    A kids line is a natural pairing. I spun off Sans Petite and the logo is a bee in honor of our bees! Love those bees.

    • Lesli says

      Thanks! I’m going to go take a look. Some of my favorite times with my daughter were in the bee yard… and bath time! When she was little, I would massage her after every bath (hoping to relax her and make her sleepy…). I’m making that massage butter for kids!

  2. Stacia says

    I love reading about how you involve your children with your beekeeping! We’ve had bees since both of our children were born; they know where the bee yard is, they are not afraid of bees like most children, but they are still too young to do inspections with us (one is 2 and the other turned 4 on Saturday). I love the idea of buying him a bee suit for his next birthday!

    And yes, I agree-a children’s line does seem like a natural pairing. And the best part is that whenever you craft a new product, you have your very first product testers all ready to go 🙂

  3. Lesli says

    Thanks! When Avital was 2, we were gardening about 20 feet away from a hive, and she picked up what was obviously an old. dying worker. It stung her on the finger. She didn’t cry, but showed it to me. I picked out the stinger, and waited to see how her body would react. Very much like her mother, it barely did: she had a small red spot and swelling the size of a small pea. Other than being surprised, it must not have hurt much, either. So I figure she’s a natural in the bee yard!

  4. I loved teaching my kids ways to connect with nature, its probably the most important thing we can teach them. They knew all the herbs growing in our yard and which ones to eat and which not to. I bet Avital will be a great help in selling your kids line too.

    • Lesli says

      She loves helping me sell when I do fairs. And once when I gave a talk at a bee club, she wanted to be my helper. It was pretty hilarious having her parade up and down the rows with my soaps, business cards, whatever to be my assistant!

  5. This is so sweet, and what a brave child you are raising. She’s precious. My favorite scents include lemongrass and honey. I LOVE this quite from your post: “Stinging hurts but it’s not the end of the world.” What a great lesson for all of life. I am impressed that your sweet daughter is handling hundreds of bees at once, and with no gloves too. Pretty awesome!

  6. Alyssa says

    Love the bee boots and that she is calm and confident while working near bees. What an amazing way to grow up so connected to nature. Grapefruit, lime and vanilla are my favorite scents. My kids always loved lavender and vanilla scented products for their bath time and post-bath massages. Look forward to watching the development of this new product line!

  7. Lesli says

    Thanks, Alyssa! I think we’re going to have a great time making these products.

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