Bee Engaged – Build Back Better for Bees

Bees are under threat. Present species extinction rates are 100 to 1,000 times higher than normal due to human impacts. Close to 35 percent of invertebrate pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, and about 17 percent of vertebrate pollinators, such as bats, face extinction globally.

If this trend continues, nutritious crops, such as fruits, nuts and many vegetable crops will be substituted increasingly by staple crops like rice, corn and potatoes, eventually resulting in an imbalanced diet.

Intensive farming practices, land-use change, mono-cropping, pesticides and higher temperatures associated with climate change all pose problems for bee populations and, by extension, the quality of food we grow.

The United Nations on their webpage https://www.un.org/en/observances/bee-day asked the question:
 How can we do more? Here are their suggestions.

Individually by: 

  • planting a diverse set of native plants, which flower at different times of the year;
  • buying raw honey from local farmers;
  • buying products from sustainable agricultural practices;
  • avoiding pesticides, fungicides or herbicides in our gardens;
  • protecting wild bee colonies when possible;
  • sponsoring a hive;
  • making a bee water fountain by leaving a water bowl outside;
  • helping sustaining forest ecosystems;
  • raising awareness around us by sharing this information within our communities and networks; The decline of bees affects us all!

As beekeepers, or farmers by:

  • reducing, or changing the usage of pesticides;
  • diversifying crops as much as possible, and/or planting attractive crops around the field;
  • creating hedgerows.

As governments and decision-makers by:

  • strengthening the participation of local communities in decision-making, in particular that of indigenous people, who know and respect ecosystems and biodiversity;
  • enforcing strategic measures, including monetary incentives to help change;
  • increasing collaboration between national and international organizations, organizations and academic and research networks to monitor and evaluate pollination services.

Plant The Seed - Unpack Your Thinking

With Student Voice Day the key focus of last week’s theme, we missed out on the chance of learning about a very important United Nations Day that is all about bees.

“ To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN designated 20 May as World Bee Day. The goal is to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries. We all depend on pollinators and it is, therefore, crucial to monitor their decline and halt the loss of biodiversity.”

United Nations

This week’s thinking routine from the Project Zero Thinking Routine Toolbox is Slow Complexity Capture – Find, Capture, Explain, Wonder. A routine for slowing down to look closely at complexity. 

To raise awareness for the environment, bees and female bee-keepers Angeline Jolie participated in a photoshoot which required her to be covered in bees. As our tune in and prompt for this week’s thinking routines we are going to watch some of the photoshoot and listen to Angeline talk about the experience and the importance of this United Nations Day. 

While you watch the video slow your thinking down and look deeply at the complexity of what Angeline is talking about. In your Writer’s Notebook record your thinking about the following things:

Find: Find an object or scene that captures your eye. In a word or phrase, say what it is. 

Capture: Take some time to look carefully at your item. Capture it by slowly making a drawing of it or taking pictures of it from different angles or perspectives. Don’t worry about creating a ‘good’ or realistic drawing or picture. The goal is to use drawing or picture-taking to help you look closely and notice details. Spend at least 5-10 minutes observing through drawing, looking, and/or photographing. 

Explain: After you have visually captured your item, write a paragraph (or tell a friend) about how it is complex. 

Wonder: What new ideas and questions do you have about your item?

Modelled Thinking

Here is my thinking – Bronwyn Joyce ‘The Global Write’ Creator

Let's Write

Prompt 1

Write an information report, make a book using https://bookcreator.com/ or create an infographic about Honey Bees. 

 

Watch the video and go to https://www.pestworldforkids.org/pest-guide/bees/ or https://www.natgeokids.com/au/discover/animals/insects/honey-bees/ to learn all about honeybees. 

Prompt 2 

Listen to the story of ‘The Honey Bee’ by Kirsten Hall

Write a book review about the book. Here is a template to help you.

Prompt 3

Find out about the life cycle of the Bee. Make a buncee or a poster to explain. This website https://www.buzzaboutbees.net/honey-bee-life-cycle.html or video might support your understanding

Prompt 4 

Interview a beekeeper. Think about what you would ask then write out your questions ready for the interview. Make sure someone videos you so you can upload your video to ‘The Global Write Flipgrid.  

Here is an interview with a beekeeper, maybe you could use some of these questions

Let's Create with AMAZELAB

Add the creativity of STEAM to learning, new ideas each week brought to you by the sensational team at AMAZELAB in the UK.

This week the AMAZELAB team have come up with a variety of creative problem-solving for you to choose from.  

STEAM 1

 

Design a garden for bees:

 

Your task is to design a garden that will attract bees and other pollinators. 

Draw a birds eye plan of the garden taking into account and researching the type of planting required and how to make it bee friendly all year round, no matter the season. 

Once you have attracted the bees to the garden look into the different species of bee creating an identification chart keeping a record of what species and how many of that species visit the garden. 




STEAM 2

Make your own bee hotel:

In this task have a go at making your very own bed hotel! 

You will need:

A plant pot 

Hollow canes – these can be garden canes or from a plant for example bamboo or sunflowers 

Stones 

Something to cut the canes with (only with adult permission) 

Follow these instructions:

1) Take your plant pot and canes. Measure your canes to fit into your plant pot with 1cm overlap at the end of the pot. With adult permission cut your canes to size. Making sure the hollow openings are facing outwards to allow the bees to get in. Continue until your plant pot is full of canes using the shirt cut offs to fill any gaps. 

2) Locate a sheltered sunny area where you’ll be able to place your bed. Use your stones to make a secure base adding your bed hotel on top of them. 

3) Place the bed hotel facing slightly downwards to allow any rainwater to escape. Your bed hotel is now ready for the bees to move in! 

STEAM 3

A day in the life of a bee: 

Complete a diary entry to describe a day in the life of a bee. You should include:

State what a bee does each day 

Explain where the bee lives and how it interacts with other bees 

Describe why the bees daily actions are so important for us humans 

Explain why bee numbers are in decline suggesting ways to increase bee numbers

Enjoy everyone!

Share Your Thinking & Creativity With The World

Place you let’s write work or your AMAZELAB creation on a Buncee and post to ‘The Global Write’ Buncee Board. Take a photo of your work and share it on our Wakelet or tell us all about your writing or creations on Flipgrid.

All you need to do is click on your button of choice and share your great work with a global audience.

Bee’s through the eyes of 'The Global Write' Youth Ambassador Olivia

Can you explain the meaning behind Olivia’s image this week? Olivia was inspired this week by the urgency to protect bees from endangerment.. She would love to hear your thoughts about what her image signifies. Send here a message on ‘The Global Write’ Wakelet and I am sure she will leave you a reply.

Teacher Resources

For more information on the Slow Complexity Capture thinking routine go to https://pz.harvard.edu/resources/slow-complexity-capture 

The UN Sustainable Goals and Good Life Goals we are supporting this week are:

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