My Children’s Summer Odes to Buzzing Gardens


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close up of hollyhock flower


Did you know that I come from a long line of beekeepers?

One may wonder why I’m so very passionate about bees and their place in our world, but when you learn that I am the first generation in a LONG time that hasn’t kept bees (as my Dad likes to remind all three of us kids) you start to understand why I’m a little bit more passionate than the average person about bees in general. And let me clarify that this is a “hasn’t kept bees” YET. We are very seriously considering moving to an acreage and bees are very high on our priority list. How can it not be, with me having parents and grandparents that were avid beekeepers when I was a child?

There might just be a chapter in my upcoming book Flapper Pie & a Blue Prairie Sky about this very topic as well, seeing how bees were a large part of my formative years. Maybe. You still have to wait until October to see what’s inside!

Just so we are clear, my parents were the original hipsters. I just had a conversation about this the other night with some friends. Everyone nowadays thinks that they invented all the crazes going on: thrifting, making your own craft beer, chickens, bees, beards and plaid.

You guys. Have you not looked at pictures of our parents from the 1970’s?

Our parents were THE Original Hipsters.

They gardened. They cared about bees, the environment, they made the best homemade beer and wine. Our parents from the 70’s hunted and went back to the pioneering ways of the land that were derisively dismissed as “not cool” during the 1940s-1960s. They also had beards, thick black rimmed glasses, and plaid was the style. Plaid was worn every, single, day.

Today’s hipsters are just riding on their coattails.

young boy in eye glasses laughing while sitting and holding a burger

With that said, it’s really important to me to incorporate as much of what I learned as a child into my own children’s daily lives.  From day one, my kids have learned the importance of bees. While most children have freaked out and smashed bees as soon as they could grab a swatter, my children have known from day one the importance of bees and to let them be. (Not wasps, let me clarify this. We smash wasps as soon as we see them.) We aren’t scared of bees in our family. We know that they are going about their daily business and truly have no interest in us unless of course we are in their way.

So when it came time to write this post about the Buzzing Gardens (an initiative that I am SO happy to take part of) the kids were involved.

The conversation happened over supper, talking about bees. Learning is never relegated to the classroom, indeed I’m pretty sure that my children have learned lessons beyond measure outside of school.

daughter sitting and writing something on a piece of white paper while his father sitting beside

We talked about bees, and our garden and how important they are. The kids decided that they wanted to write poems about bees and I let them choose whatever they wanted.

It all started with my son coming up with his own Haiku off the top of his head. I’m not surprised that Haiku’s appeal to his mind; 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. It’s almost mathematic. That’s his jam. He thinks like an engineer already (and I’m sure that something technical as a career is in his future), but he’s also hilariously witty.

The kid actually used the word “Ermagerd”. And as a homeschooling mom this coming year, I accepted that wording, because it made me laugh. Let’s be honest, it had the right amount of syllables to complete his Haiku so he was technically correct.

hand written poem in a paper

My little Rose girl?

She chose an acrostic poem. (She had to tell me what type of poem it was. It’s hard when your kids are smarter than you.)

She makes my heart swell with joy when I see her creativity.

hand written poem with drawing of bee and flower

But my kids are right.

Bees are our everything.

We need bees for a lot of our produce, from zucchinis (those big blossoms don’t pollinate themselves!) to the sweet cherries that you buy in the store. And oh, speaking of cherries, my sour cherries were AMAZING this year!!!

fresh Cherries in the tree

The amazing part of my partnership with Bees Matter is that I am learning so much more than I have taught the kids! The awesome infographics that the kids and I have poured through are priceless when it comes to learning all about bees and their important place in our world.

Let’s start with plant reproduction. (Ok, who started singing the song from Grease 2?? Because I did!)

Bees Matter Infographics plant reproduction


Next up: Bees are a complex creature that has specific needs. Oh my word, if people only realized how fragile bees really are!

Honey Bee Health Infographic

This is an amazing infographic on what you can grow based on where in Canada you live. If I have said it once, I will say it again: can you imagine what a difference we would make if everyone planted their yards/gardens specifically meant to help out honey bees every year?

Native Pollinator Flowers Information

This may be more for the beekeepers, but I think that it’s really important. We take bees for granted, and we reap the benefits of bees without a second thought. Beekeepers have to contend with disease and keeping their bee populations healthy all season long to ensure that not only do they get honey, but those bees keep pollinating our gardens and the crops that we depend on.

Preventing and reducing varroa mite infection Details

Make sure to check out the website to find out even more information about bees here in Canada and how you can do your part to healthy sustain our bee populations!

Happy Gardening everyone!




This blog post is sponsored by Bees Matter and compensation was received. I am entirely responsible for the contents of and the views and opinions expressed in my blogs and posts and not the sponsor mentioned above.


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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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