Teaching Children About the Importance of Bees
Bees are a huge part of our ecosystem, and their value to our crops and flowers cannot be overstated. As we look towards World Bee Day on the 22nd May 2022, we are going to talk about bees and how you can teach early years children about these helpful little creatures.
Why is it important to teach children about bees?
When in their formative years, children soak up information like a sponge and we can take advantage of this inquisitive age to teach children about important parts of our natural world. Bees play a huge role in nature as well as agriculture as they pollinate crops, flowers, and produce honey that is used for a multitude of recipes and purposes.
Bees are fascinating little creatures and now is the ideal time to educate children in the early years about their role in nature and help them to gain a wider understanding and interest in the natural world.
How can you teach children about bees?
There are many different methods of teaching a child about bees including visual aids, practical trips, and fun crafts or activities.
One of the most effective teaching methods for children when talking about bees are photographs. Photographs of different species of bee as well as beehives and and bees in pupa stage can be a great way to educate early years children and help them to understand what a bee is and how it grows and develops. There are plenty of short videos on YouTube that will explain everything from the lifecycle of a bee to how it produces honey. Not only will visual aids keep a child interested, but you can use them for fun activities such as going out into the garden to identify different types of bees using photographs and descriptions.
If you want to teach a child a lot about a chosen subject in a short space of time – bringing in physical objects to show them is essential. As we discuss bees – some of the best things to bring into class would be beeswax, a beekeeping suit costume for the children to try on, and honey for children to taste.
Ask Them Questions
A good way to engage a child in learning about bees is to ask questions about what you have shown them and what you have discussed. Ask questions like:
Engaging a child in learning about bees is important and a good way to do this is to ask them questions about what you have spoken about. Some of these questions are a good example:
- Do you like honey? What does it taste like?
- How many types of bee are there? Can you name one?
- Where do bees live?
- What colour are bees?
- Where do bees get their food from?
A field trip
If you do some research in your local area you will likely find a few bee farms nearby that will allow you to visit with children and educate them about these amazing creatures. Consider arranging a morning trip to one of these places where children can ask a beekeeper questions and they can see up close where bees live and how they make honey. At the end of the trip, head back with some fresh honey and have a taste.
Scared of bees?
Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to model tolerant behaviour of bugs. The fear of insects or other creepy crawlies is one that a child learns from adults. If your child has seen you run away screaming from a bee, then it’s natural that they are going to be terrified too.
Show children how to take a second to pay attention to what the insect is and what it’s doing before they freak out that there’s an insect around at all. Fear is a normal part of any child’s development. However, a phobia like this can keep a child from spending time in nature and playing outdoors.
If you have a child that’s scared of bugs or insects, it’s best to start helping them deal with that fear as early as possible. With patience and knowledge, you can help a child overcome fear of insects, bugs and other creepy-crawlies.
Bees play an important role in our natural world, and teaching children about the importance of these small creatures will open their minds and help them to show compassion and love for these animals as they develop into adulthood.
How will you be celebrating World Bee Day this year? We have a FREE World Bee Day Activity Guide featuring 12 bee themed crafts and activities to engage children in this fun day!