Monday 20 October 2014

Finding our Bumble - Bee Conservation

At school Charlotte had to do a bee study this summer as part of "The Big Bumblebee Discovery" and came home with a booklet she had to complete.
We had to carry out a few studies in different locations noting the weather, temperature and which bees we found. We had a picture guide of bees and they were quite specific over which bees they wanted us to study. The names of which I have sadly forgotten.

We get a few bees in our backgarden so went to check out which plants they visited and which bees we get. They love our lavender, sweet pea and chive flowers. We spent quite a bit of time watching them move from one flower to another and seeing how they move. Though we spotted about 6 bees in our 10 minutes only 1 of these was on our study sheet. Obviously we needed a better garden.

That weekend we visited Waddesdon Manor, and wondering through the rose garden spotted hundreds of bees on the lavender. We had forgotten our bee booklet but armed with cameras took as many pictures of bees as we could, this wasn't easy as bees are very camera shy. At home we then worked out which bees we saw and how many of each.

Charlotte was very pleased with her study, watching different bees, how they move about the garden and what their favorite plants were in the garden. The booklet was returned to school and in return she came home with a pencil and sticker for completing in the national study.

After reading "The boy who lost his bumble" and thinking back to our bee study we wondered how we could help bees in our garden. In the spring we will look round our local garden centre for bee friendly plants, most garden centres now mark up the best bee friendly plants.

Bee Hotel
 Whilst walking round our local garden centre at the weekend we spotted a small bee hotel or we could make one ourselves as I found on the Natural History Museum website.

The Bumblebee Conservation Trust also have some kids pages with a simple guide on spotting different types of bumble bees and some simple plants to plant in the garden.

Also make sure you visit ReadItDaddy to find out how great a book "The Boy Who Lost His Bumble" by Trudi Esberger (Child's Play) is and how it's inspired us to look at what plants we can add to our garden next spring.