As Spring and Summer roll around, it’s the perfect time to get outside with the kids and watch pollination happen right before your eyes! Today we’re sharing a pollination scavenger hunt to help guide observation, as well as some ideas for ways to help pollinators right in your own backyard.
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Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber, is one of my absolute favorite bee books! It is a story following a honey bee after she emerges from her nest. The story follows a little bee through her day of hard work collecting nectar and pollinating flowers. We also see some things she experiences along the way, such as finding shelter during a storm. This book is packed full of information about bees, especially for being a storybook.
Bee and Pollinator Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt:
I truly believe that the best way to communicate the importance of conservation and an appreciation of nature is to get outside!
All Spring and Summer last year we were outside finding flowers, bees, butterflies, moths, and other important pollinators. This is as simple as going into your own backyard, neighborhood, or nature walk. Local gardens or pick-your-own flower farms are great places to go as well. A farm near our home has a great garden where we enjoy watching bees and butterflies because they are everywhere!
**Before you go on your walk or scavenger hunt, talk about safety and be sure the children know not to touch the bees, butterflies, or other insects. Bees may sting if touched, and fragile butterfly wings could be harmed**
See how many different bees and other pollinators you can find:
You may find several different species of bees, moths, and flies. You may even find a hummingbird!
The photo below is one of my favorites. It shows a bumblebee collecting nectar near a moth. All along we thought it was a beetle (there are also pollinator beetles), but upon further investigation we found out it was a webworm moth. Learn something new every day!
On your nature walk, try to watch as a butterfly or moth uses their proboscis to probe and sip nectar from a flower.
Take time to stop and smell the roses:
Try to see what kind of pollinators for certain types of flowers, or which flowers are getting the most attention.
Pollinators are attracted to flowers based on their size, shape, color, and scent.
Print the scavenger hunt to help guide your observations:
Ways to help bees and other pollinators:
- Plant Bee-Friendly Flowers and Herbs: Whether it’s a back-yard garden, small herb box, or volunteering for a community garden, there are many ways to create plants for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators so they can have a continuous supply of food when they need it! Use native pants as much as possible.
- Provide Nesting Sites: Bees and other pollinators need places to hide, find shelter, nest, and overwinter. There are many ways to protect these areas, or even provide one for them.
- Don’t Use Pesticides When Possible: One of the main reasons threats to bees is pesticide use. Try to practice organic gardening or integrated pest management, encouraging natural predators (such as praying mantids or ladybugs), and companion planting where possible.
- Enticing Natural Predators to Your Garden – National Wildlife Federation
- Make a Bee Bath: Bees need water, too!
- It’s So Easy to Make a Bee Bath – Kitchen Counter Chronicles
- Get Involved: There are many organizations and citizen science to get involved with throughout the country and all over the world.
Pin for later!
This post goes along with the Storybook Science theme of Conservation this week. Every day this month a new science activity is posted to go along with a storybook!