Honey, it's all about bees this week: Kids Corner for the week of 9/14/20 | VailDaily.com

Honey, it’s all about bees this week: Kids Corner for the week of 9/14/20

Editor’s note: The Vail Daily’s weekly kids section is chock full of activities and fun to keep the young and the young at heart entertained during the pandemic. If you have an idea for the section or would like to get involved, email Entertainment Editor Casey Russell at crussell@vaildaily.com.

Time travel

Learn about Eagle County’s history with tales from local ranches.

The homestead on the upper parcel of Wurtsmith Ranch is still standing today.
Raymond Bleesz | Special to the Daily

Settlers began arriving in Burns in the late 1880s, homesteading the land along the Colorado River and up on Derby Mesa. These early settlers started the cattle industry in northwest Eagle County.  

Hay is the lifeblood of the cattle industry — that was true when the frontier was settled and is true today for cattle ranchers. The Wurtsmith Ranch, one of the earliest in Burns, is a working cattle and hay operation with approximately 800 head of cattle. With extensive Bureau of Land Management grazing rights, the ranch grazes cattle on the higher elevations while the summer hay operation takes place.  

The mountain ranch, situated at 9,000 feet elevation, hosts numerous historic structures dating back to the early 1900s. In 1899, James P. Gates purchased Doan Place, the site of the former ranch house that remains on the property today. His granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Gates, married Don Wurtsmith, and they raised Ben, the current owner, on the ranch.  

Ben served in Korea during World War II. When he returned from the War, he purchased an additional parcel in the 1950s, called The Baily Place, from John Baily. The Baily Place was originally patented by William Wright in 1885 and 1890. Ben’s purchase of the Baily Place is now the lower elevation Wurtsmith ranch location. Ben’s wife, Mildred Eichler, comes from a family with deep ranching roots in Eagle County.  Her parents were Martin and Emma Eichler. 

Ben and Mildred’s son Dana, daughter Jill, and son-in law Bill currently operate the ranch. They are the 5th generation of the Wurtsmith/Gates family to live and work on the ranch, continuing the tradition of hard working cattle ranchers in the Burns area. 

Time Travel is submitted by the Vail Valley Art Guild’s Ranch Project, which is chronicling local history through art. Learn more at vailvalleyartguild.org.

Outside Scoop

Learn about nature.

Honey comes with many different flavors, based on the flowers the bees used to create it.
Casey Russell | crussell@vaildaily.com

Honey, the yellow goo that comes from bee hives, is as sweet and scrumptious as it is sticky. It is believed that humans starting collecting the delectable, energy-rich syrup thousands of years ago.

Honey is produced when bees visit flowers and collect nectar. Bees process the nectar into simple sugars. The insects return to their hive, or honeycomb, and deposit the simple sugars. The honeycomb is well designed. The fanning of the bees’ wings in the nest causes evaporation, which creates the honey.

From stunning bright yellow, to dark, amber colors, honey comes in all flavors and colors. The taste and tint of the honey is dependent upon the flower nectar the bees have gathered. Flavors of honey can include orange blossom, sage, wildflower, blackberry, blueberry and many, many more. There are over 300 distinct types of honey in the United States. Honey is produced in every state in America, and in most countries around the world.

How much honey does a beehive make?

A typical beehive will produce 30 to 60 pounds of honey a year. Some hives, under optimal (best possible) conditions, can create 100 pounds of honey in one year.

What is honey used for?

It is a natural sweetener for foods and beverages. Honey is also known as a natural energy booster and a homeopathic (natural) treatment for a sore throat.

Fun Fact

Rosh Hashanah 2020, the Jewish New Year, will begin in the evening of Friday, September 18 and will end on the evening of Sunday, September 20.  A Jewish tradition during this time is to dip apples in honey for a sweet New Year.

Outside Scoop is submitted by freelance journalist Julie Bielenberg. Contact her at jbielenberg@mac.com.

Word of the Week

Learn new words in English and Spanish each week.

beeswax / la cera de abejas

Bumblebees collect nectar from flowers and process them into simple sugars, which makes honey.
Adobe Stock Image

Riddle me this

Test your wits and smarts with these riddles.

Click or hover over the black boxes to reveal the answer.


Riddle: What type of bee can’t make up its mind?

A maybe.

Riddle: What do bees use to fix their hair?

A honey comb.


Riddle: Why did the bee go to the dermatologist?

Because it had hives.

Riddle: If I have a bee in my hand, what’s in my eye?

Beauty, because beauty is in the eye of the bee-holder.

Coloring page

This week’s coloring page is submitted by local illustrator Jasmine Valdez. Follow her on Instagram at @artgirl_studios.
Jasmine Valdez | Special to the Daily

Print the page here.

Learn how to make your own coloring pages here.

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