All posts tagged: Bees

News from the GMS Honey Bee Hive

When we arrived back to school this fall the bees were on the defensive. We went into the hive to check the honey stocks and brood production, but the bees were very grumpy and there were not as many full frames of honey as we expected. It wasn’t evident why they were defensive so we called in a local honey bee expert, permaculturalist, and friend, Amy Moyle, to help us figure out what was going on. Amy was immediately concerned about their behavior and suspected that something had been antagonizing the hive – possibly a skunk. We decided to deter any bee-eating predators by setting out a nail board (a board at the base of the hive with tiny nails in it.) An entrance reducer in the front limits the amount of space for bees to enter the hive and this allows the guard bees more thorough surveillance of the hive. This had been knocked out of place – evidence mounting for the skunk suspect! After several weeks of working with the bees and feeding …

Pollination Nation

This lesson has been in the making for a number of years! Teaching about pollination and pollinators is essential not only because of its role at the core of food production, but also because of the plight of the bees (and many pollinators in general.) In the Spring as the first flowers were opening, we transformed the children into tiny buzzing pollinators and sent them out into the gardens to search for pollen. Because they had been miniaturized, the pollen became huge! Fuzzy little balls of pollen were inside of all the flowers and their task was to collect it. As they collected, some of the pollen from other flowers (which were different colors) fell off of their bee bodies and the colors got all mixed up! Hmmmmm….. is this how pollination works? We pondered this and other questions in this interactive lesson and discussed how much we depend on bees and their work for our food supply. With the older students we discussed what we could do to help. Planting food sources (nectar and …