The Orca class learned about pollinators, especially bees. Did you know that for every five bites of food you eat, three of them are there because of bees? It was interesting that on this same day there was an accident on one of our highways where 14,000,000 bees were spilled out of a tipped over semi truck.
To learn about how bees pollinate we played a little game. The children all pretended to be bees. They had a little straw for their proboscis, an insect's mouth part. The Teaching Parents were the flowers. They had a cup of apple juice to pretend that it was the flower nectar for the bees to eat.
The bees flew to the flowers, drank the nectar, and then a piece of pollen (a colored pom pom) was stuck onto their leg (arm). Then they flew to the other flower, drank the nectar, and left that pollen on that flower.
We had some Orchard Mason bees in cocoons. These have been in the refrigerator until it was time for us to put them in their bee house.
We placed a few sticks into the bamboo tubes in the house. This helps the bees know which tube is theirs (the third one from the middle stick, for instance). Then they gently slid the cocoons into the tubes.
We hung the house outside on our front porch. This is the south side of the preschool, and hopefully will get some morning and afternoon sun to warm up the bees. Orchard Mason bees need mud to make their nests in the tubes, so we dug a hole in the garden next to the porch for them.
Before the end of the day, our first bee hatched out of her cocoon! Orchard Mason bees are friendly and do not sting. It will be interesting to watch these little creatures do their work.