Earlier this year Bungay Community Bees spent a week with Bungay Primary School. First and foremost it was fun and inspiring – hopefully on both sides. I was particularly impressed with how well the children engaged with us and how much information they soaked up. One of the greatest challenges for us was finding ways to present information to such a wide range of ages. In addition, Key Stage 1 (age 5-7) had been studying bees for 5 weeks already, but the Foundation Unit (age 3-5) and Key Stage 2 (age 7-9) were seeing us as part of their Nature Week.
A slideshow of our bees and an introduction to pollination was followed by a visit to each class with beekeeping suits, equipment and a hive for the children to explore. They loved getting into the (rather large!) suits and gloves, which were sticky and brown with delicious smelling propolis. This gave us the opportunity to talk about processes involved with keeping bees, the dynamics of a colony and some basic bee anatomy and physiology.
We then participated in sharing sessions with the children and their relatives, running ‘workstations’ including a honeybee quiz, collages, computer drawings and learning to waggledance. All the children planted sunflower seeds with Mark, one of which is pictured above, which was very popular and a great way to discuss bee-friendly planting and pollination. Just as popular was a honey-biscuit decorating activity with Gemma, finding out about the ingredients and processes involved. Adults seemed to enjoy the quiz – and lets face it bees are absolutely amazing, with enough ‘fun facts’ to entertain anyone!