Students from Years 4-6 who have participated in Project Based Learning (PBL) with our Curiosity Academy this year have been studying the important role that bees play in the health of our natural environment. On Wednesday 6 November the group met with Tracy Lansdell from Green Tree Naturopathy, who provided a deeper insight into the major role that our native bees play in pollination.
During the course of the program this year, the PBL students have been learning about the characteristics and needs of honeybees that most people associate with pollination. Ms Lansdell’s talk addressed the distinction between these introduced species and the different species of native bees in Australia, and why it’s important to provide sustainable gardens in order to help them survive.
Ms Lansdell presented an interactive and informative theory lesson on the many different species of native bees before the students headed out to our school garden to do some practical building of ‘Native Bee Hotels’. The students learned that native bees are solitary creatures who do not live in hives, as honeybees do - instead they simply need a warm, dry place to lay their eggs. Each student began by making their own small ‘hotel’ in a tin can, which can house up to 40 bees. The can is packed tightly with bamboo or elephant grass tubes, as well as smaller raspberry sticks. To complete their take-home hotels, the students then wrapped their tins in paperbark and twine.
The students then collaborated to make two different styles of larger hotel that will be kept in the gardens on the College grounds. It was a fabulous way for the students to learn about the often-overlooked native bees and how important it is to cater for them within our gardens at home and at school. It was the perfect spring day activity and we look forward to seeing some native bees nest in the hotels over the coming year.