Written by Miss Linda (Busy Bees at Fraser Coast)
Did you know that May 20 is World Bee Day? It has never been more important to help our bees, as the world bee population is declining at an alarming rate. Destruction of their natural habitat, intensive farming practices, and pests and diseases are just some of the complex reasons for this decline.
Bees are crucial to our planet as they help to pollinate most of the crops we eat and many that feed farm livestock. In fact, nearly two-thirds of Australia’s agricultural production benefits from honey bee pollination.
Our Busy Bees at Fraser Coast Service decided to get behind this important cause recently as the children took part in meaningful and educational activities for Earth Day. The theme for Earth Day this year was “Protect Our Species” and Fraser Coast’s ranger, Miss Vikki, thought what better species to try and help than the humble little bee?
The children quickly became interested and excited as plans were made to create a special Bee Garden in Garden World with lots of flowers to attract the bees and provide them with pollen and nectar to collect. The children learned that when bees land on a flower, they get pollen on their feet which they then transfer to another flower. This allows a little seed to grow creating something yummy for us to eat. So, by helping the bees we are in turn helping our garden as well.
The children were involved in every step of creating the Bee Garden as Miss Vikki explained what they were doing and why– filling the tyre with dirt, planting many different flowers, adding mulch to help keep the soil damp and they finally added a lid filled with water and stones so the bees could have a drink. To find out what knowledge the children already had about bees, Miss Vikki asked the children “What do bees do?”
“They go buzzzzzzzz! I’ve got bees on my shirt. Look Miss Vikki, I’ve got bees on my shirt.” Miss I (3)
“They suck out honey.” Mr J (3)
“They sting. I got stung by a bee once.” Mr L (4)
“Bees make us honey.” Mr T (4)
“They make us honey. I like honey on my pancakes. I like the bee garden and the little pond. The bees can splash in the water.” Mr C (3)
“They make honey when they get the pollen from the sunflowers. They take it to their hive and make it into honey…… then they give us butler dollars and we can buy stuff. Whooo hooo!” Mr L (3)
This World Bee Day, the children at Busy Bees at Fraser Coast are celebrating by dressing in black and yellow. They will be planting sunflowers in Garden World to encourage more bees to visit the garden. The children plan to cook “Honey Joys” to eat for afternoon tea, while our cook Miss Cara prepares a beautiful fruit platter as without bees we would not have yummy fruit to eat.
Miss Vikki has been in contact with the Wide Bay Stingless Bee Organisation, and has organised for one of their representatives to come to the centre to install a log colony into one of the trees in the garden and talk to the children about bees. What a wonderful way to involve the community!
What will you do to celebrate World Bee Day?