Buzzing Bees!

Can you identify this bee using the chart below to help you? Find the answer at the bottom of this newsletter!


We know many of you might be a bit afraid of bees, but they are really only interested in two things: nectar and pollen! 


Sadly, honey bees are in trouble and the numbers of many wild bumblebees and solitary bees are dropping. Two bumblebee species are already extinct. The aim of this newsletter is not to make your children feel sad about the bees. There is an opportunity here to help them learn more about these amazing creatures! So, in this week’s newsletter, we have put together some resources to help your children learn more about why bees are so important.



Pollination – What is it?


We are used to seeing bees buzzing from flower to flower in summer, but we often don’t appreciate quite how much they do for us – without them and other insects, plants would not be able to produce the fruit, berries and seeds that we eat! Here’s a short video that explains how pollination works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txv2k7OoY7U

Here is a useful diagram which helps to explain pollination and below it, there is a flower-labelling activity for your children to complete.


Infographic via: edenproject.com


Resource sheet via: beeschool.co.uk


Identify Parts of a Bee


Like all insects, bees are made up of three parts – a head, a thorax and an abdomen. Attached to the head is a tube-like tongue (proboscis) for sucking nectar. The antennae are responsible for smelling, taste and they can feel vibrations, movement of air, sounds, temperature and humidity.

 Bees are easy to confuse with wasps and many people are worried about their stings. Bees can sting but in fact they rarely do unless provoked and feel they need to protect themselves and their hive. They have black and yellow stripes because this is nature’s way of telling everyone, including us, to keep a safe distance!


Image via: stem.org.uk



Finally, bees have two compound eyes which means that they see colour brilliantly! Although bees can’t see red very well, they can see ultraviolet light which is not visible to humans. The ultraviolet light makes the flowers look like targets to direct the bees to the pollen and nectar!

Here is a worksheet to identify the parts of a bee’s body. Once you know the body parts, have a go at playing the Roll a Bee game which is explained after this section!


Resource sheet via: teacherspayteachers.com

Resource sheet via: teacherspayteachers.com


The Bee Game!


This bee game not only helps children to learn key body parts of a bee but it applies to all other insects too! 



Identifying and Naming Different Types of Bees


We mainly think of bees as making honey, but honey bees are just one of Britain’s 267 species! The rest are wild bumblebees and solitary bees. All species of bee collect nectar and pollen as food, and at the same time they pollinate a large amount of our fruit and vegetables.

Here is a useful sheet to record some of the different types of bees you might see in your garden or when you are out and about. If you spot any that aren’t on the list, you can draw them on the back of the sheet or take a photograph and look them up online! Always be careful to observe bees from a safe distance so they don’t accidentally sting you!





International Bee Day – 20th May 2020


To raise awareness of the importance of bees and to celebrate how amazing they are, we found a fun event to join: The Global Waggle Dance Challenge!

A bee’s waggle dance is a figure of eight dance which can tell other bees the precise direction and distance to a patch of nectar-rich flowers or water. If the bee waggles straight up inside the hive it tells the others that they need to fly towards the sun to find food. If they waggle left, they need to fly to the left of the sun, and if they waggle right, they need to fly to the right of the sun. The longer the bee waggles for, the further away the food is. 

Here is a David Attenborough video explaining the honey bee’s waggle dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU_KD1enR3Q


Can you come up with your own funny waggle dance like the bees?! Entries are accepted until 14th May 2020 via this website: https://www.worldbeeday.org.au/waggle/

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