Our focus at the moment of 12 months tends to be on the flowers blooming throughout us, bringing divine scents and vivid colours to a previously grey panorama. This 12 months, nevertheless, it’s the bees which can be fascinating me. On a quiet day, I can hear their buzzing round our flowering crabapple tree from inside our kitchen. One morning whereas counting birds at our feeder, my daughter determined to attempt protecting a tally of bees on the crabapple tree. She rapidly had to surrender that concept: we turned dizzy as we tried to trace every bee’s circuitous path from flower to flower. She watched and listened as a substitute.
There are nice depths to be plumbed on the earth of bees, however my daughters and I attempted to maintain issues easy. We talked about how the bees switch pollen from flower to flower and puzzled how lengthy it could be earlier than we noticed the primary ensuing fruit. This sparked an thought for a sport, which we tried with a bunch of associates. I put one coloration jelly bean in every of 5 bowls on our picnic desk and did the identical factor on a desk throughout the yard. The bees (i.e., children) needed to carry pollen (jelly beans) from one set of flowers (bowls) to the opposite. They needed to cross-pollinate, so the article of the sport was to finish up with bowls filled with a mix of colours moderately than a single coloration.
We took a break and browse a number of poems from UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Work by Douglas Florian. His whimsical and information-packed poems incorporate some superb bee details in verse and in extra textual content on every web page. This was an ideal prequel to our subsequent exercise, as a lot of the knowledge on this ebook centered on bee communication. We tried out a bee model of the “Hotter! Colder!” sport to discover a hidden object. We hid some jelly beans in a single spot within the yard and solely informed the “chief bee” the situation. The chief then needed to silently talk this location to the remainder of the group utilizing solely actions. If the meals was shut by, the child/bee danced in circles, doing a spherical dance. When the meals was additional away, the chief wagged its tail a number of instances whereas “flying” in circles. If the meals was even additional, the bee would do the waggle dance: a figure-eight sample with waggles within the center. The extra waggles, the additional away the meals.
Fueled by jelly bean “pollen,” we learn two extra books about bees and gardens. Bees within the Metropolis by Andrea Cheng, illustrated by Sarah McMenemy, is a candy story about just a little boy who lives in Paris and misses the bees on his aunt’s farm. When most of the bees on the farm begin dying, he convinces neighbors in his metropolis residence constructing to plant flowers of their window bins and rooftop gardens to assist the bees. A piece on the finish of the ebook focuses on what makes bees so particular and gives a historical past of beekeeping and gardening. We completed the ebook decided to go dwelling and plant extra flowers.
Hooked on the concept of gardening to draw bees, we learn My Busy Inexperienced Backyard by Terry Pierce, illustrated by Carol Schwartz. This can be a good read-aloud, as children can repeat the “in my busy inexperienced backyard” chorus all through the story. Every web page provides one other animal, constructing upon earlier creatures. The chorus facilities on a “shock in a intelligent disguise,” which ultimately “wriggles and writhes, then stretches and flies” away as a butterfly. An appended “Your Busy Inexperienced Backyard” part has extra data on the animals for curious younger naturalists.
These are just some actions and books to begin you in your bee explorations. Bees actually are superb creatures, propelling us from spring into summer time, bringing these pretty flowers and fruits, and dazzling all of our senses. Plant a number of flowers this spring to get pleasure from them near dwelling!
Books talked about
UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Work written and illus. by Douglas Florian (Simon/Seaside Lane, 2012)
Bees within the Metropolis by Andrea Cheng, illus. by Sarah McMenemy (Tilbury, 2017)
My Busy Inexperienced Backyard by Terry Pierce, illus. by Carol Schwartz (Tilbury, 2017)
Go to Susan’s weblog for extra of her ideas about these and different nature-themed image books.