Record with your pupils the work of Red Mason Bees and other pollinators
Red Mason Bees exit from hibernation between mid and late March every year. Like most pollinators they can be seen outside in gardens and school grounds between late March and July busy collecting pollen and nectar from flower and plants which is transport to their nesting place. There, the pollen and nectar is stored to provide food for the recently laid eggs.
1. Red Mason Bee Project Log
Keep a daily diary and record in it the following:
- When to the Adult Male and Daily activity in and around the Bee Hotel
- All activity around your Bee Hotel
- All sightings of Red Mason Bees and other pollinators
- Keep a count of when new eggs are added to the trays in the cells.
- When do the larvae inside the cells start hibernation.
2. Make your schools grounds a Pollinator friendly environment – Grow meadow flowers from seeds
Red Mason Bees and other Pollinators need to collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants to feed and nourish their young. To attract more Pollinators to your school grounds this spring and summer plant more meadow flowers outside or create a mini meadow close to your webcam Bee Hotel. For more information about how to create a mini meadow and how to obtain free meadow seeds for your school visit the create a mini meadow web page.
3. Take part in the OPAL Polli Nation Survey
Do you know how many species of Bees and other Pollinators visit your school grounds in the spring and summer months? The Polli Nation survey is a national survey that seeks to find answers to important research questions about the health and status of pollinating insects across the UK. To take part in this important national survey select an area not exceeding 10 by 10 metres and record the plant and Insect life that live in and visit it over a short period of time. For full details about the project and taking part visit the OPAL Polli Nation survey web page.
4. Create a PowerPoint Presentation or short video about the Project
Take photographs and make a PowerPoint presentation or short video about the project. Include in your presentation information about what happened inside the Bee Hotel and outside. Were you busy in the early spring creating a mini meadow or planting meadow flowers? If “yes” then record this work too in your presentation.
5. Investigation – Which flowers and plants to do Red Mason Bees and other Pollinators visit?
Record over a short period of time (possibly 1 or 2 weeks) which flowers and Pollinators in your school grounds visit. Does size, colour, location or smell influence their decision? At the end of the investigation analyse your results before deciding which seed types you will sow next autumn.
6. Bee Art Week
To raise awareness about the Perfect Pollinators Schools’ Red Mason Bee project why not hold a Bee Day or Week in school this summer? Part of this week might include a display of 2 and 3 D highlighting some of the common Pollinators that visit your school grounds during the summer months.
To help you get started download a copy of The Friends of the Earth – The Bee Cause: A Pack for Educators
7. Compose and perform your own Bee Music
Everyone can recognise the sound that bees make. Download an app of bees in flight. What do you think of when you hear the music? Listen to Rimsky Korsakov’s composition “Flight of the Bumble Bee.” Draw pictures to show how the music accurately portrays the movements of the Bumble Bee in flight. Working together compose your own score for the Red Mason Bee. If you have time maybe you could create a dance to accompany your musical piece?
Please with your work? Record and upload your composition as an mp3 file on your laptop using Audacity or Garage Band.
8. Perfect Pollinator’s Red Mason Bees Poets Corner
Watch Bees in flight and observe them busily lining the tunnels in the hive. How do they move in the air and on surfaces? How do they transport the pollen and nectar they have collected? What happens each summer inside the Bee Hotel? Write your own poems about these wonderful flying insects.
Wish to share your pupil’s work with others? E-mail your pupils work to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will publish your work on The Red Mason Bees Poets Corner.