Have you seen any bees yet? ... and it's nearly Earth Day!
Updated: Apr 22, 2021
Spring has arrived and it is almost Earth Day! Blossom is bursting, green leaves are unfurling, birds are singing and all sorts of little creatures are emerging. Have you been lucky enough to see any bees yet?
This holiday, we have two great challenges for you! On a dry day, can you head outside and think about bees? Take a few moments to ‘bumble’ around looking for insects or other bugs, and possibly spot a bee. The first bees tend to emerge in late February - keep your eyes peeled. You may like to use the attached ‘Woodland Trust Nature Detectives’ minibeasts check list to see how many little creatures you can find.
And when you are back at home, can you zoom way out to outer space, and think about the whole of our wonderful planet Earth? 22nd April is Earth Day – an environmental event that began 50 years ago and is marked in 193 countries. One of the main themes this year is the need for climate education in schools. Can you take part in Earth Day by writing to your MP to tell them you are a Young Climate Warrior and you would really like them to let other schools in your area know all about it? Maybe you could tell them what your favourite challenge so far has been? Please don’t forget to include the website address – www.youngclimatewarriors.org. You can find your MPs email address by entering your postcode here: https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons
After you have written to your MP and had some fun looking for bees, remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON!
Bees are struggling with climate change – on top of already having to deal with less wild spaces to live in, and the increased use of chemicals on our land. Climate change and its extreme weather is causing extra stress for bees. Droughts result in less flowers which in turn means less nectar for bees to feed on. Droughts are also thought to change the ‘floral scents’ unique to each flower – bees rely on these clues in their search for food. Stormy weather is also problematic – whilst bees can forage in light rain or showers they can’t do so in heavy rain. Climate change and shifting seasons are also resulting in a mismatch between the period when flowers produce pollen and when the bees are ready to feed on them. So what can we do?
One of the best ways to help bees, is to provide them with more opportunities to feed. If you have a garden, you could ask your parent / carer if you could create a ‘bee friendly’ wild space. You could try sowing some wild flower seeds, or grow some of these plants that bees particularly like - primroses, lavender, cosmos, poppies, sweet Williams, ‘snapdragons’, and marigolds? You could also just leave the area untended and ‘messy’ – some bees love long grass, or making nests in compost heaps or under hedgerows. If you don’t have a garden, you can still help the bees! You could grow some herbs in a pot on an outside windowsill or balcony. Bees love collecting nectar from rosemary, thyme, oregano and mint – all of which you can also use in your cooking.
If you’d like to learn more about honey bees and their ‘waggle dance’ - you may enjoy this Inside Science 3 minute video - 'The Bee Dance'.
Remember to HIT THE RED BUTTON when you have undertaken this challenge!