Teaching Children about Pollination
Bee’s Added to Endangered Species List
What would happen if there were no bees or butterflies to pollinate our flowers? “Bees perform a task that is vital to the survival of agriculture: pollination. In fact, one-third of our global food supply is pollinated by bees. Simply put, bees keep plants and crops alive. Without bees, humans wouldn’t have very much to eat.” How can we teach our children about these magical species and all the work they do for our environment?
Our Beekeeping Story
Act One: Our story begins with our then 12-year-old, William, his science teacher and a need to help out over the summer with the school’s beehives. This was a no-brainer. I dropped William off at the beehives, watched him climb into his bee suit, and witnessed a fearless young beekeeper in the making.
There was an abundance of honey that needed to be harvested, a science teacher scheduled to go on a summer camping trip and an eager 12-year-old. Before we knew it, we were in our kitchen, teaching ourselves how to harvest gallons of honey from You-Tube beekeeping videos. It was a sink or swim situation that was completely driven by the enthusiasm of a 12-year old. Needless to say, William was hooked on becoming a Beekeeper.
Act Two: William and I took a class, purchased our hive (and all the tools that come with it), picked up our bees and began the process of introducing the queen to the hive. The excitement grew. We learn the beekeeping lingo, attend additional classes, and reach out to our local bee community for support. We give this backyard beekeeping a go!
Time passes and we observe the magic of bees. It is beautiful! Magical. Unfortunately, our hive did not make it through the season. Yet, we learned and witnessed the vital role bees play in our environment. We will try again in the Spring and hopefully have better luck. It is hard to imagine that we will begin a new season of backyard beekeeping with the fact that bees are on the endangered species list.
Act Three: Not everyone can add a beehive to their Outdoor Classroom. Therefore, we need to question, “How do we want this story to end? How can we teach our children about the importance of pollination and the role the bees play in the environment.” Can we save the bees? Can we save the butterflies?
Next Steps: What plants are you planting in your Outdoor Classrooms to attract bees and butterflies? What books are you reading to children about pollination? Every little bit helps and the first step is to educate our children our children about POLLINATION.
Here are some resources and ideas to get you started.
- Pollination diagram for kids
- Bee species added to endangered species list.
- Dissect a flower
- Play Pollinator Games
- Research the best plants for bees
We want to hear from you. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and ideas.