After watching bumblebees pollinating onion flowers, the children had fun making and learning about bumblebees and their importance to the food that we were growing on site

All my articles, videos and work are funded by my teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries.

Learning about our bumblebees can be real fun even in the classroom. The previous year I deliberately left a few onions in the soil instead of lifting them. I wanted them to flower and produce seeds for the children to plant. The following year, after watching numerous bumblebees busy on the flowering onions, many children showed a real interest in our little furry friends and asked some really interesting questions about them.

helping to make this years onion seeds – a busy bumblebee pollinates an onion flower-note the bees tongue

This prompted me to give a session to them about bumblebees and you can see some of the results above. It included, research on the internet, drawings, pictures, even a few poems and short stories making fascinating reading. Working with children and allowing them to express their feelings (in some cases they had a misplaced fear of bumblebees), helped them to learn the importance of bumblebees and I hope now to have encouraged a whole new bumblebee friendly perception for the children, along with a whole new bunch of bumblebee friends!!

A bumblebee worker pollinating tomatoes in the polytunnel which fascinated the children- can you see the bee’s pollen basket full of pollen?

After planting the small tomato plants, grown from seed, in the polytunnel, the children wanted to know where the tomatoes would come from and how they grew. I said that I would show them a furry worker friend of mine who would help us grow the tomatoes and that it was too early for the friend to visit us yet.! One young lad asked ” Where is he then? Is he still in bed?” I replied, ” No! He has to fly here yet!” “Cor ! where’s he flying in from then!!”  About 100 yards way in the allotment manure heap I found a bumblebees nest. Do I tell him ?!! 🙂

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