First Lady Tells Children: 'Bees Are Good'

By Penny Starr | April 3, 2014 | 10:25 AM EDT

Silas Stutz, left, a student at Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. and Dynasty Meade, who attends Friendship Collegiate Academy Public Charter Elementary School in the District, planted broccoli with First Lady Michelle Obama on April 2, 2014 at the White House garden. ( Starr)

( - First lady Michelle Obama told school children Wednesday that the White House garden is going to help restore the dying bee population.

“So we’re going to plant all kinds of flowers that attract bees and butterflies, which is not going to make the Obama girls happy, because they don’t really like bees, but bees are good.

“Bees are a good thing,” Mrs. Obama repeated. “So you guys are going to help do that, and that’s the first time we’ve done a pollinator garden.

“Pretty cool, huh?” she asked.

Mrs. Obama told students from local elementary schools that bees and butterflies are “dying because of disease.”

“But why do we need to help bees and butterflies -- what’s happening to them? The first lady asked. “Yell it out.

“They’re dying – they’re dyin’ because of disease. We don’t even know why some beehives are just totally disappearing,” Mrs. Obama said, standing just a few yards away from the apparently healthy White House bee hive.

“But that could be a problem for the planet, because if you don’t have insects and great pollinators to pollinate the plants, it could affect our food source. It could affect our ability to continue to grow things, and that would be a problem,” she said.

This was the sixth time the first lady has invited children from local elementary schools to help plant the White House kitchen garden.

While waiting for her to appear, the children were given a healthy snack of water and apples.

Several White House chefs were on hand, as well as volunteers with FoodCorps, part of the federal AmeriCorps volunteer program – the former specifically designed to promote the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign and her efforts to regulate school lunch offerings in public schools.