This is a collaborative post
I have written a few times about the children’s endless fascination with bees. When we visited Snowdonia back in early May we went to The Ugly House and, whilst there, we learnt more about bees and got to spot a few out in the bee friendly gardens.
We picked up some bee friendly seeds to plant when we were home and a plant (which since we have planted has flourished) and they have been placed in out garden. We have quite a few bees visiting so we are helping to do our little bit to help the bees.
The team at First Tunnels have produced an infographic which I’ve shared below. This explains more about the plight of the honey bee and just why they are so important.
Here are some things I have done with the children to help them understand the importance of bees, and what we can do to encourage them into our garden. I don’t want the children to be afraid of bees in the same way I was when I was little and I want them to continue to be fascinated by this small but important little creatures.
Visit bee keepers – As mentioned above, we visited the Ugly House where there was a whole room dedicated to bees and it was very hands on for the children. We are also lucky to live close to Whythenshawe Park where they are running a range of events where you can get up close to see the bees as well as sample some of the honey. I hope to get to take them to one of the sessions over the summer break.
Visit the library and read any number of the fabulous books about bees – we have read a few but Bee by Britta Teckuntrup and Patricia Hegarty is a particularly good one. It follows a Bee as it goes about day to day and has really helped my children learn more about them and has contributed to their interest.
Get crafty and create your own wildflower garden – there’s nothing like getting hands on and creative to keep little hands busy and help them understand. We made this wildflower garden earlier in the year and the children loved it. We talked about how the bees needed flowers and why and what they would do. It was lots of fun and something we will certainly repeat next spring time.
Plant some seeds – Even the smallest garden or yard can benefit from a few pots of bright flowers. I am the first to admit that I am not a gardener but I do like planting the seeds in early spring with the children. We always do sunflowers and then an assortment of other things that we pick up. The children like seeing the seeds grow and of course watching them bloom as they get bigger – all the while attracting the bees.
Know your Bees – the eagle eyed among you will have spotted the insect below is in fact a hoverfly – getting to know the different types of bees is a great way for children to learn about the many different types of creatures within one species. Just a walk around a bee friendly garden will make you realise that there are many different types of bees around.
Do a Bee Count – We haven’t yet done this, but next year as the bees start to make an appearance we might conduct our own bee survey – taking to a spot in our garden and counting how many bees we see in a ten minute window. I’ll then take the children somewhere less bee friendly, and do the same. We might make a graph of our results so they can see how bee friendly our garden is.
Do you help bees thrive, and how are you helping your children to understand the importance of bees and the ways in which we can encourage them?