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Be the Bee

Be the Bee

We have installed a bee house in the Principal's yard (as students are not at school). Updates will come soon. Fingers crossed that bees will soon move in.

Here is the student lesson on bees, from the University of Guelph, with whom we are working to study and help bees. If you would like a copy of the teacher notes, lesson and observation chart, please email seccleshall@smcdsb.on.ca .

Bees@Schools Activity: Being the Bee Created by Sage Handler, University of Guelph, beeschoolprogram@gmail.com 


If you were a bee, you would need two things to live: food to eat and a shelter to live in. This is very similar to our needs as humans, but the places bees get their food and shelter are pretty different! Bees get their food from flowers. Flowers produce nectar which is a sugary liquid that bees collect using their straw-like tongue called a proboscis. Flowers also produce pollen, a high-protein powder which bees collect using their furry bodies. Adult bees collect nectar and pollen from flowers, eat some themselves, and also leave some with the eggs they lay. They lay their eggs in a nest, which is their shelter. Cavity-nesting bees are named for the nests they choose in hollow plant stems, old beetle burrows, and holes in wood. Here, the female bees lay their eggs and leave food for once they hatch. The female bees also collect nest-building materials such as leaves, soil, or tree sap to secure their eggs. Both flowers for food and nesting sites for shelter are essential for bees to survive. 


Now, I want you to pretend that you are a bee! If you have access to your class’s nest box, do this activity there. If you do not, then you can do this activity in your backyard or in your neighbourhood. Look at the world through a bees’ eyes and take note of the food and shelter resources around you using a chart you create with 3 headings: Date, Food Resources and Shelter Resources. You can repeat this activity throughout the summer and see how the resources change! Many flowers have different blooming times, so hopefully there is food for the bees in your area throughout the whole summer. You can mark down how many food and shelter resources you see, or you can write down what types they are by identifying them with a phone application like Seek (https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/seek_app) or by looking at pictures online.


 I also encourage you to take a look at the bee observer cards at https://education.eol.org/observer_cards/bee_cards_print.pdf. Hopefully, you notice some bees while you are out looking for their resources, and these observer cards can help you look a little closer at the incredible diversity of bees and their behaviours. This part of the activity is more suitable for older grades, but I encourage enthusiastic students of all ages to take a look! These cards are only available in English. 


If you have any questions about the Bees@Schools program, or this activity, please submit them at https://beesatschools.ca/ask-a-question/ or email us at beeschoolprogram@gmail.com. You can also submit any interesting bee or bee habitat finds that you take a photo of, and I will highlight them on our website! 


Bees@Schools Activity: Being the Bee Created by Sage Handler, University of Guelph, beeschoolprogram@gmail.com