POLLINATORS (Scroll down for butterflies)
There are around 220 kinds of bee in the UK and they are of 3 types: bumble bees, honeybees and solitary bees
Bees are vital to our survival on this planet, they are needed to pollinate about 40 different crops in this country including
FRUITS apples,pears,cherries,raspberries,blackcurrants,melons VEGETABLES : broad beans, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins
Also we eat roots and leaves of plants like turnips,carrots,cabbage,celery, beetroot, but we need these plants to be pollinated and make seeds in order to get new plants.
Take the bee puppets to the THE HONEYBEE JOB CENTRE and match them up with vacanies in the hive; Meet the Queen Bee; Interview the giant foraging honeybee; Run conversations between the foraging bee and a giant apple blossom flower, a Red Mason Bee and a Honeybee, a Blackthorn tree and a Bumblebee.....AND MORE!
The set of eight honeybees are glove puppets but can also be used as freestanding models as they are detachable from their one-size-fits-all “magic” gloves using Velcro.
HONEYBEE JOB CENTRE ACTIVITY
During her short life of 4-6 weeks a worker (female) honeybee undertakes a series of jobs.
This role play activity aims to match up the capabilities of 6 unemployed worker honeybees with a range of job vacancies in the hive – nurses, cleaners, builders, packers, security guards and foragers are all needed. There is one drone (male) bee also looking for employment, but since his sole function in life is to chase the queen bee on her mating flight and mate with her, his long term job prospects (or indeed life prospects) are very poor. The queen too is currently unemployed.
Read-aloud role play cards are provided as follows:
The object of the activity is to match up the bees with the jobs. Factsheets provided enable children to compose their own job adverts.
There are two bumblebee queen models, mounted on gloves -
Red tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and
Buff tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris)
The role play conversation between the two bumblebee queens takes place early in spring when they have recently emerged from hibernation and are looking for nest sites.
Bumblebees live in much smaller colonies than honeybees – maybe 50 in a nest, which is often underground. Only the queen bumblebee survives the winter.
RED MASON BEE (female)
Red Mason bees are non-aggressive and very important as pollinators, in particular of fruit trees. They build a nest single-handedly and provide for their offspring but never see them.
The conversation provided between a Red Mason bee and a Honeybee highlights some of the differences between them.
BEES are not the only POLLINATORS!
A giant foraging honeybee and a giant apple blossom flower hold a conversation which explains what happens in Pollination. This can be linked to discussions on insect-friendly flower plantings to encourage a wide varity of pollinators.
More pollinator puppets are available including a Marmalade Hoverfly, a Common Wasp and a selection of butterflies - Small Tortoiseshell; Peacock; Red Admiral and Comma - all of which are dependent on nettles as the food plant for their caterpillars, Holly Blue and Wood White. There is also an Elephant hawkmoth, which pollinates Honeysuckle. For more photos see the Gallery section.
NEW LOCKDOWN BUTTERFLIES!!
Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown
Since all plans for outings for Wildlife Roleplay over the spring and summer 2020 have been cancelled due to Covid 19, I have spent Lockdown making more butterflies, hoping one day to be able to use them in an interactive way.
I will continue to build up the collection and they are available for displays until normal activities can be resumed.
See The Gallery for more photos.