Creating a bee hotel: research

Time Allocation: 30-40 minutes*

Activity Level: Moderate


Before embarking on this learning activity, we encourage our Junior Landcarers to learn more about beneficial insects by doing the Creating a beneficial garden activity series to further provide our young learners the opportunity to learn more about invertebrates, focusing on pollinators and beneficial planting. This will help our young learners understand the importance of this activity and build their commitment.

Upon completion of this learning activity, children will have developed a deeper understanding of bees, including their identifying features and native habitat so that they can help protect them.

*Additional time may be spent in consultation with your local Landcare group, council or Indigenous Elders.


  • Research materials, e.g. books, pamphlets, devices, internet access and those resources suggested in the Reference List below.
  • Printable Activity Sheet
  • Pencils
  • Materials for communication, e.g. poster paper, pens and paint, devices, interactive whiteboards.
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Tuning in

    Before we design and create our bee hotel, we first need to understand the organisms that we are supporting.  What do we think we know about bees? What are the types of bees that we commonly see? How are bees different to flies and wasps?

    Discuss and brainstorm in groups, perhaps allocating each group a type of bee to research, so the information is visible for all to see, e.g. poster paper, whiteboard, devices or interactive whiteboard.

    Do we need to fact-check any of these statements? Get children to verify any statements that they may not be certain of by gathering supporting information.

    Step 2

    Delving deeper

    Are there gaps in our learning?

    What are some different types of native bees? Research their features including their size, foraging habits and nesting habitats.

    Consult your field guide for more information and use resources (digital or printed) as recommended in the reference list, to research more information on the chosen native bee.

    Think about what people can create to mimic the bees’ nesting habitat.

    What questions do we still have? Discuss and brainstorm.

    Step 3

    Honing in

    It is essential to understand the specific needs of native bees local to your area. Use a digital or print native bee guide to identify bees local to your area.

    Are there experts who can help with your investigations? Connect with your local Landcare group, environmental community group, local council ranger or Indigenous Elders.

    Step 4

    Processing and applying learning

    How are we going to use this prior and new found knowledge to create a suitable habitat for local bee species?

    Focusing on reed bees, complete the activity sheet to record your learnings.

    Discuss the next steps, preparing for the construction phase.

    Extension Activity

    Create a children’s story that includes native bees and their habitat. You may like to ask others to help you write and illustrate the story using the research you have conducted.

    Research how Stingless Bee honey; ‘sugarbag’ is collected and used by Aboriginal people.