There have been an abundance of bees in our yard lately, working to collect that last bit of pollen for the season before freezing temperatures set it. We took advantage of this busy buzzing with a bee nature study, and were surprised with now only the number of bees we discovered, but the location of a new yellow jacket hole. No matter where you live, the chances are there are bees nearby, so take a few minutes and marvel at these amazing creatures.
A bit about bees:
- There are almost 20,000 different kinds of bees in the world
- Bees feed and collect pollen and nectar using a proboscis
- Honeybee populations have been declining due to a number of reasons
- Some bees (such as honeybees) live in large colonies with elaborate society and structure, while other bees (like bumblebees) live alone.
- Bees help to pollinate flowers. Without bees these flowers would die and our world would change dramatically.
Introduce the study by sharing a few facts about bees. Explain that you will spending your time outside looking for bees, watching their behavior, and figure out how many different kinds are in the yard.
Where might you find the bees?
What are they doing?
How are they different? How are they the same?
Take some time during your exploration or afterwards to draw what you've seen in your journal, and you can learn about the types of bees in this identification guide.
Hadley and Finley quickly picked up on the differences between the bumblebees, honeybees, and yellow jackets in our yard. Watching the bees at work in the flowers, we were amazed at the pollen clinging to the bees legs - it made the idea of pollination quite easy to understand.
During our time exploring and searching for bees we found this AMAZING, large spider in our raspberry bushes - it's about 2 inches around and I believe is called a garden spider. Since we are reading Charlotte's Web, we named her Charlotte and visit her everyday. It looks like we'll be studying spiders soon.
What have you discovered lately?