Looking for a fun science lesson that could make a difference in a kid’s future? Teach kids about the science of honeybees! These small, but mighty insects are responsible for some of our favourite fruits and vegetables and, for fostering the reproduction of many different plant species. They are an integral part of the world’s ecosystems, and unfortunately, their numbers have been falling in recent years.
There are two main reasons why it’s imperative children must be educated on sustaining the honeybee population:
- Honeybees pollinate crops that provide us with a variety of food sources.
- Honeybees pollinate a substantial amount of the earth’s vegetation (plants, flowers, trees) that have an effect on the entire food chain.
Our kids are our future. Learning about these topics not only make for great science lessons for teachers and tutors, it also could affect our future food sources.
Read on to learn more about these magnificent insects– hopefully you will be inspired to share with your child! Or, use this as a teaching resource to teach kids the science of honeybees.
Honeybees pollinate the food we eat
A plant is only able to reproduce seeds if there is a transfer of pollen from the male part of the plant to the female part of the plant. As bees go in search of nectar (to create honey) they visit a number of plants or flowers in the process. Through visiting all of these different plants, the pollen sticks to their bodies and is able to be transferred to the female parts of the plants they subsequently visit. Thus, pollen is able to travel from male to female, producing fertilization and seeds that keep plant growth going!
The above process is what makes it possible for a number of food crops to grow, since they aren’t usually able to pollinate themselves. Perhaps your child could imagine a world without broccoli, but watermelon or blueberries would be tough to let go. This list of crops that need honeybee pollination is quite substantial, so your child should be aware of the necessity of bee populations.
Honeybees sustain vegetation and wildlife worldwide
With reference to the process of pollination above, be sure to teach your kids that this doesn’t just apply to the food humans eat. Many animals in the wild also rely on the food sources of plants that are pollinated by bees. And not only just their food– many components of the food chain could be affected, discussed here.
Last but not least, honey is imperative not only for our sweet tooth, but, for fuelling the worker bees that go out and pollinate! The nectar they seek to make honey is what gives them their energy source to survive.
Life without honeybees: a desolate future for us all
When a child thinks about bees, they might associate it with the fear of getting stung (usually mistaken for wasps!), an allergy a classmate has, or a cute Halloween costume idea. However, it’s imperative that we educate children on just how important bees are in fuelling the world we live in. Eventually, this is so they can strive to make conscious environmental decisions as adults that won’t negatively impact the bee population. A lot of our livelihood depends on their survival!