Year 4's Bee Aware Incursion

​Late last term, our Year 4 teachers organised an incursion provided by “Bee Aware Kids” to learn from Dr Toby Smith, a professional bee scientist and educator. The incursion extended student learning about the role that bees play in the pollination of plant life. Following are reflections from our students.

At the start of the Bee Aware incursion I learned lots of facts about bees. For example, Queensland has the smallest bee in the world, only female bees can sting, and only female bees get pollen to bring back to their hive. When the female bees collect pollen, they brush it onto their legs to take it back to their hive. When they go from flower to flower, they leave other pollen behind. This is what we call pollination.

Next, we looked at all different types of bees. My favourite one is called a neon cuckoo bee. Then, we asked questions that were related to the bees that we had learnt about. After that we looked at real life bees in a bee hive! They were very cool to look at. I really enjoyed learning about bees at the Bee Aware Incursion.  Audrey

Toby, the Bee Scientist, taught the class about stingless, native bees. He told us about what they do, how they survive and what would happen if bees didn’t exist. He told us about two fascinating types of bees – the blue-banded bee and the neon cuckoo bee. Toby taught us that to make honey, the blue-banded bee digs a hole and puts larva in it with pollen. The neon cuckoo bee can’t look after its babies so it goes into the tunnel, eats the larva of the blue-banded bee and replaces it with its own larva so the blue-banded bee gives pollen to the neon cuckoo bees larva without knowing. He told us that the smallest bee in the world is approximately 1.2mm long.

Toby showed us how long it would take a bee to collect nectar by carefully taking nectar from each flower. He said it would take two and a half hours to collect less than a spoonful of nectar. The bee’s sac was growing as it collected nectar. The bee would take the nectar to its hive, vomit it into the other bee’s mouth and the other bee would do the same. They do this until the pollen is thick and sticky and it makes… Honey!

We learned a lot about bees from Toby.   Rafael

I learned that bees are a magnificent insect and play a very important role. Toby gave us so much information about them. They help make trees and trees help us breathe. Without bees, we wouldn’t have any food to eat and any oxygen to breathe. We learned that bees don’t actually mean to pollinate our flowers. Toby taught us that we need to respect the bees because they produce food and help people in our world to survive.

Toby the Bee Scientist taught us about different kinds of bees and interesting facts, for example, that Queensland has the smallest bee in the world. Toby also mentioned that the female bees are much stronger and bigger than the male bees. He said that headbanger bees such as the blue lantern bee, bang their head on flowers with a tube-like middle, 300 times per second just to get nectar out of the flower! To me that’s amazing! I am really glad Toby came and taught us about bees. I thought it was really interesting and now I think lots of people will respect bees and what they do for us!   Emily