LEARNING ACTIVITY
Creating a bee hotel: construction
Category: Biodiversity
Climate Region: Arid | Temperate | Tropical
State or Territory: ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA
Age Range: 7-13

STORY

Suyin had a big idea for the week that grandfather was planning to stay with them. She asked to invite Tom and a few other friends over for grandfather to teach them how to make homes for the bees. Suyin knew that the urban development across the valley would have removed the spaces where bees nest and find their food. It would be a fun activity to do at the same time as doing something good for the environment. Win-win!

Suyin, Tom and their friends had so much fun constructing many homes for the bees. They made several nests from bundled hollow pithy stems that they collected the week before grandfather’s arrival. Grandfather also made a couple of nests from hardwood boxes. “It is important to hang your nests in a sunny position to attract the best bees, and most importantly hang your nests away from foot traffic. Hang them in places where they can be observed and where there are lots of flowering plants in the area. Sooner or later, the bees will find their new home and come to stay” explained grandfather.

ACTIVITY OVERVIEW

Bees are pollinators. Pollinators help plants reproduce, and as a bonus for people, they help us grow our food and flowers. Australian native bees are also able to pollinate many fruit and vegetable flowers including tomatoes, watermelon, passion fruits, apples, cherries, strawberries and mangoes.

As we clear land for urban development, and for broadacre farming, we remove the spaces where bees nest and find their food. With no food, and nowhere to produce their young, native bee populations are under threat of local extinction. In this activity, we will look at providing nesting spaces for native bees which mimic their natural ones. This will provide them somewhere to produce their offspring.

This learning activity is the first part of a sequence of 2 individual learning activities focused on creating a bee hotel to help support native bee populations. The order of these learning activities are: research and construction.

We encourage our Junior Landcarers to learn more about other pollinators including European honey bees in the Creating a beneficial garden sequence: assessment, investigation and planting.

Outcomes

For children to:

  • understand the need to provide additional nesting space for bees
  • value the importance of mimicking the bees’ natural habitat
  • engage and connect with local experts that may provide assistance
  • undertake the task of building and managing a bee hotel for cavity-nesting bees.

SEASONAL NOTES

Availability and ease of collection of natural materials to create your bee hotel will vary according to seasonal plant life cycles. Collecting materials to use at a later time can be useful to help prepare. Your local Landcare group may be able to help.

Collecting materials and making bee hotels during winter is a good time to prepare for the return of warm weather. This is when bees will start to become active and they will soon start looking for places to nest. Hopefully in your hotel!!

Winter pruning time is also a very good time to start collecting sticks and other materials.

Did you know?

Bees have two compound eyes and three simple eyes.

Did you know?

Pesticides like bug spray kill bees. Help bees flourish by considering less toxic options or integrated pest management.

Did you know?

Australian cavity-nesting bees include Reed Bees, Masked Bees, Resin Bees and Leafcutter Bees.

Did you know?

Bees have two compound eyes and three simple eyes.

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Why not try one of our other Junior Landcare learning activities?

Creating a wildlife habitat: research

Biodiversity

Creating a wildlife habitat: vision

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Creating a wildlife habitat: design

Biodiversity

Creating a wildlife habitat: planting

Biodiversity