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Ministry of Education.
Kaua e rangiruatia te hāpai o te hoe; e kore tō tātou waka e ū ki uta

Looking after bees

Exploring honeybees' impact, year 7 students at St Joseph’s School (Timaru), established and shared with others lasting ways to keep bees flourishing, throughout the school and the planet.

Read the case study - Looking after bees.

Duration: 03:09


[Grace] I liked how Miss Scannell introduced it. Everyone was dumbfounded about what it was about, with the menus and everything.

[Katie Scannell] What would you like to order if you could order anything on that menu?

[Harry] We thought we were going to get to eat rib-eye steak and things like that. But then we had to start crossing out things.

[Katie] You cannot have the cheese, or the sour cream. I’m sorry, the aioli has to go. And the guacamole and chips.

[Sophie] We thought that all the stuff that we couldn’t have were because of Covid food shortages. But then Ruby said, “It’s to do with honey”. Then we found out that our topic was bees. 

[Katie] Kudos to Ruby, correct. We’re going to be investigating the impact that honey bees have on our world.

[Harry] It really surprised me cos I didn’t really know anything about bees before that.

[Grace] I thought they would just sting and made honey. But that’s all I really knew.

[Max] They pollinate our flowers and trees and stuff.

[Jenson] That’s a good one there. 

[Dylan] We need to look after them because they do quite a lot of good things for our planet.

[Katie] I took a group down to a friend who runs some beehives.

[Jenson] We saw honey dripping down all the frames. Pete spotted the queen bee. And there were tons of bees following her around.

[Beekeeper] There she is, there.

[Jenson] She has a long body.

[Beekeeper] Without her the hive would die.

[Sophie] I used to be very very scared of bees. But I think they’re really interesting creatures.

[Katie] We thought it would be cool if we made a garden for bees, so there’d be more bees here.

[Adult helper] We’re going to transplant this plant out here.

[Sophie] Miss Scannell’s mum’s been helping us with all the names of the bee-friendly plants.

[Katie] They had to research first about, “How many plants can you have in the garden? How much space are they going to take?” So there was a lot of maths involved.

[Jenson] You think of an idea. And then you draw down your idea on paper. And then you think, “What materials am I going to use?”

[Max] My favourite thing in the project was the bug hotels. We put bamboo and bark and stuff in a wooden crate. It’s a good place for them to live. And it’s made quite a difference.

[Katie] They were using other curriculum areas. And I think that went for all of the different areas, whether it was the bug hotels or the seed bombs.

[Jenson] You get dirt, clay, all the soil and stuff. And you get some seeds and about put them in the middle. So you’re going to put it in your garden.

[Katie] I wasn’t solving their problems for them. It was that whole process of just a simple question, and then they’d go off and research and come back with the solution.

[Garden helper] And this is where the bees will come and get their pollen.

[Katie] And half-way through I posed the question of, “How are we going to look for a sustainable way to keep promoting bees?”

[Sophie] Just teaching all the younger kids to protect the bees.

[Grace] We wanted them to learn about bees as well, so that. they could help bees stay alive.

[Katie] I remember that after assembly one day, a wee five-year-old had a bee sticker on her shirt. And her parents picked her up after assembly, and she just started rattling off about why bees are so good and how you can’t squash them. I knew then that we had got that message out to other children here at school.

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