Tag Archives: flowers

Binky Bear is sat on a beehive

The Importance of Bees

A beekeeper friend recently told me that to him honey-production isn’t the bees’ most important function but plant pollination is and it is astonishing how quickly children take environmental concepts on board in their earliest encounters with the natural world. A strange insect in the garden soon becomes a familiar friend and the memory is shared forever with the parent or grandparent who first made this possible.
a bee keeper is tending his hives

A bee keeper tending his hives

Helping bees together

With an astounding 270 odd bee species in Britain alone (just under 250 of which are solitary bees) - and all of them pollinators - we have to look after them. One of the ways we can do this is by helping to make outdoor spaces bee-friendly. Park authorities and farmers are becoming aware of the importance of protecting pollinators’ environments and in our small way we can help by growing bee-friendly plants. In addition to thinking of flowering plants water is essential for bees as are places for solitary bees to hunker down during the winter months in banks and in compost heaps. Bee-friendly garden, bee-hotels: https://meonvalleybeekeepers.co.uk/help-the-bees/create-a-bee-friendly-garden/ Poisonous plants to look out for: https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=524 Make a bee-hotel https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/39691792
bees on a thistle

Bees on a thistle

Bee Facts

Honeybees survive the winter by snuggling close together in the hive to keep warm. Interestingly they don’t hibernate. Their honey sustains them, so they must produce enough for the cold months. In a good season in the UK a beehive can produce 27 kg of honey but this is around 11 kg more than the bees actually need. How lucky we are - they pass that excess onto us to have with our toast and butter! Scientists have recently been able to decode sounds made by queen bees in the beehive according to a paper published in the journal, Scientific Reports, in June 2020. The “tooting and quacking” sounds tell the tens of thousands of worker-bees the queens want to come out. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53029218

Dancing bees

Our amazing bees can also tell their fellow workers where they have found a good source of nectar and to do this they perform a ‘dance’. Scientists call it the “waggle” dance and it imparts an amazing amount of precise information. From this performance the workers can make a bee-line to the nectar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU_KD1enR3Q
Binky checks out the bee hive

Binky checks out the bee hive

Why are bees important?


Know your Bees:

Bee identification. https://friendsoftheearth.uk/bees/bee-identification-guide

Interesting facts.

Interesting facts. Bee-lines in your area and helping a tired bumble--bee https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/fascinating-facts/bees?pc=AUT005007&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIwrXzhKHo6gIVCYjVCh1ymgz6EAAYAiAAEgKvxfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Binky and Bees

If you are interested in bees like Binky is, you might like to get to know Binky better. He has lots of adventures and you can read all about them here: https://binkybear.co.uk/shop/  
Gardening For Kids

Mucking About In The Garden

Gardening is something we do all-year-round, not just in Spring and Summer.  So, as a kids activity it ticks all the boxes by getting our little ones into the open-air and sharing experiences. Plus, it’s fun AND you don’t even have to have a garden to do it! Here are some practical ways of getting started.  The BBC working with the RHS has made it easy to stimulate enquiring minds with lots of great ideas.  These include projects to do at home, in your own garden, indoors and there’s plenty of factual stuff too. What little boy can resist fascinating facts about wriggly creatures. Go to the BBC link below.
Bee On A Beautiful Flower

Bee On A Beautiful Flower

When planting in the soil or in pots choose easy to handle large seeds for little hands like peas, beans and sunflowers.  Look for plants, which can be readily distinguished from weeds. Keep a pet dandelion! An interest in gardening can be fostered anywhere and doesn’t have to be in a formal garden setting.  Scent trails, where you search for and identify different plants can be followed in your own garden, along a country trail or in a public park.  Challenging for grown-ups as well!

Green-fingered benefits

The RHS and schools, who have collaborated throughout the UK in recent years in setting up gardens and gardening clubs, point to the many health benefits of gardening for children - getting them away from screens and into the open air. RHS research suggests that kids perform better at school and develop healthy eating habits as a result of their interest in self-grown veg. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening found that children built “life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication”. The Kings Fund in 2016 reported feelings of positive well-being, personal achievement and empowerment among young gardeners, particularly amongst children with learning and behavioural difficulties.  These youngsters in particular experience a sense of pride in a world where so often they are unable to shine.  They also find gardens to be peaceful places, “conducive to meditation”, suggests Caroline Levitt, founder of Diggers Forest School and Nursery, Midhurst.  Children learn to communicate with the world about them, which in turn puts them in touch with their inner selves.

Life-long love

Gardening with the little ones in your life can initiate a shared life-long love of plants and the outdoors. The continuity of the seasons fosters a long-term commitment to the world about us and a better understanding of the environment.   You never forget seeing your first seed emerge from the dark earth and from that moment we become a part of the wider ecosystem. Take them into the garden one warm night and just let them lie on the grass and look up at the sky.  They’ll never forget it!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/gardening_with_children/ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/with-children/life-skills-for-children/ https://www.alive.com/family/growing-kids-green-thumbs/