Environmental Science and BEES

Bees have been around for about 27 million years. They can be very good at protecting themselves against predators using their sting. They can however be killed with chemicals which farmers sometimes use to keep their crops pest and disease free.

This topic first covers the basic principles of sexual reproduction in plants. It stresses the importance of thorough pollination for good fruit production. It explains why bees are so very important as  pollinators of many of our crops, and touches on the threats to our bee population. Children at Key Stage 1 should be able to pick up the idea that bees move pollen around and that this helps fruit to form but at Key Stage 2 they will be able to appreciate the mechanism properly

In the first instance the ovaries are the most important part. Flowers with developing ovaries are very useful to show the seeds forming (using magnifying glasses). Apple, cherry, strawberry, peas, beans, oil seed rape and wallflowers are all useful although using the edible ones makes the point best.

We look at honey and it's properties in this section. Children should be encouraged to use all their senses to explore the honey. Different types of honey can be compared with each other for taste, texture and colour i.e. clear honey, soft set honey, hard honey and heather honey. It can also be interesting to investigate honey from different flower sources.

Learning topics

Do plants need bees?     
Bee quiz                           
Threats to honeybees             
Do flowers need bees?
Do flowers need bees 2              
Pollination word game        
How seeds are made              
The story of honey
Collecting honey and beeswax    
Wax scales         

Useful Resources

Ants Nest                        
Bumblebee in flight                
Butterfly – peacock
Bees collecting water     
Queen cells                    
White tailed bumblebee


Pollinator ID sheet - https://www.buglife.org.uk/bugs/bug-identification-tips/  

Easy recipes using honey - https://www.kidspot.com.au/kitchen/recipes/easy-honey-joys-recipe/kcnv229p          

Rowse - https://www.rowsehoney.co.uk/            

Making rolled candles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5HJxwWdlTM

Making dipped candles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUQyHQRAOxI

Making moulded candles - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GhxDwZCo5A

How seeds are made - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zxfrwmn/articles/zfn6t39 

Inside a seed - https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2021/03/plant-life-cycle-seeds-shoots-roots/

Honey- How it’s made - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iT6IQx26eHk

Wasp Love Game - https://fo.am/activities/wasplove/

A huge thank you to our generous Bees in the Curriculum Sponsor National Bee Supplies