The Early Childhood Center at the Community Synagogue of Rye and The Little Garden Club of Rye teamed up to introduce a fun and informative program on honeybees geared to 4- and 5-year-olds. On June 5, local beekeepers Victoria Dillon and her daughter Anne-Marie, a rising Harrison High School senior, gave the preschoolers a better understanding of why they should learn to love and protect bees.

The presentation included a show-and-tell with beekeeper tools, honeycomb wax, and bee specimens in plastic cases. Everyone enjoyed the honey tasting and gained a better understanding of how bees communicate. For the grand finale, the children demonstrated the waggle dance, the body language bees use to show the rest of the hive where to find water sources, new nest locations, and pollen- and nectar-rich flowers. 

How did the students respond to the program? Robert Dorin, age 5, said, “Now I know how to do the waggle dance! And without bees, I couldn’t eat cherries!”

ECC Director Dale Oberlander said, “I am happy our students had the opportunity to understand the importance of bees and what they provide us. They will be able to see many pollinators in action thanks to our new Butterfly Garden.” Oberlander arranged to have a beautiful screened wooden structure moved from the defunct Pleasantville Synagogue to the ECC. The interior of the garden was donated by the Little Garden Club and designed by member Liz Garrett.

— Photos by Darla Rohde

Beekeepers Anne-Marie and Victoria Dillon giving ECC students the friendly buzz on bees.

EEC Director Dale Oberlander, far left, with Victoria and Anne-Marie Dillon in Community Synagogue’s new Butterfly Garden.

During the show-and-tell