Have you heard the buzz? It’s Australian Pollinator Week and our hardworking bees need us to be ‘bee friendly’. We need to teach children the wonder and value of bees and to not be afraid of them. We wouldn’t want to live without bees. Not only would we have no yummy honey but we’d also lose many other foods and useful products. Bees work for the good of the whole ecosystem. And sadly, bees around the world, including in Australia, are in serious trouble. Declining bee populations pose a threat to our food production and our environment. With bees officially listed as endangered it’s more important than ever to support our honey-making friends.

Image: pixabay

Books

Cover Image for REPLACE_WITH_TITLE_OF_ITEM

Holly the honeybee dancing star

written by Gordon Winch; illustrated by Stephen Pym.

This bright and engaging picture book explores the importance of bees, pollination and teamwork. Did you know that bees dance to communicate with other bees? Holly is a worker bee with a talent for locating pollen. When she returns to the hive, she uses her waggle dance to let the other bees know where the pollen was found. This dance shows the bees which direction to fly in and even how far to go to find food to eat. Because bees have no ears the waggle dance is how they communicate with each other. The artwork is vibrant with appealing cartoon-like bees and lifelike Australian bush landscapes. Both the author and illustrator have a background in science. 

Bee: a peek-through picture book

written by Patricia Hegarty; illustrated by Britta Teckentrup.

This is a beautifully illustrated peek-through picture book that brings to life the special work bees do giving life to plants and flowers. The rhyming text flows poetically as the bee goes about her work travelling from bloom to bloom and harvesting flowers one by one. With a variety of creatures, including a ladybug hiding in each spread, there is so much to explore visually on each page. The hexagonal die cuts bring your focus back to the bee and her journey.  The importance of bees can be summed up in the final rhyming couplet ‘So many plants and flowers you see, were given life by one small bee’. An engaging and simple introduction to pollination and the role of bees for young children. 

Cover Image for REPLACE_WITH_TITLE_OF_ITEM
Cover Image for REPLACE_WITH_TITLE_OF_ITEM

I saw a bee

written and illustrated by Rob Ramsden.

This is the perfect book to share with young children to instill the message that bees are our friends and not something to be afraid of. Learning to love bees and to be at one with nature is an important message conveyed in this sweet picture book. The text is simple and rhythmic and great for reading aloud. The artwork is bright and bold and is used more than the text to tell the story visually. This book is the first in a proposed series of books that aim to encourage young children to enjoy and appreciate the natural world. With bee populations in steep decline it is so important to ensure that children develop a positive attitude toward bees. Bees are busy working and won’t harm you at all if they don’t feel threatened.

Songs

Bee

BUZZ! goes the bee,
Hour after hour,
BUZZ! goes the bee
From flower to flower.

Sucking out the nectar
Flying it home.
Storing up the nectar
In the honeycomb.

BUZZ! goes the bee,
Making honey so sweet.
Bee makes the honey
That I love to eat!

Image: pixabay

I’m A Little Honeybee

(to the tune of ‘I’m A Little Tea Pot’)

I’m a little honeybee
Yellow and black
See me gather
Pollen on my back
What the Queen bee tells me
I must do
So I can make sweet honey for you!

Bee Friendly Activities

You could add some bee friendly plants to your garden or some herbs to a pot or make a bee hotel.

Native plants are a good source of nectar. Some examples include Grevillea, Eucalyptus, Banksia, Bottlebrush, Tea Trees and Wattles. Plant some in your garden for the bees to enjoy. 

Herbs are the bee’s medicine chest. Plant some in a pot (you might like to decorate the pot first). Some examples include Basil, Coriander, Dill, Lavender, Mint, Parsley, Rosemary and Rocket.

Insect hotels offer a home for native bees and other insect pollinators. Learn how to build your own insect hotel at Act For Bees.

Did You Know?

Bees are the only insects that create a food that humans eat.