Quick Summary: In this activity, children are given the opportunity to explore Australian native bees. They will begin by looking at pictures of native bees and finding out why native bees are important. They will then go outside to observe bees and other pollinators in the garden or park. Finally, children can create artworks about bees to share with an audience. This activity also includes information about improving native bee habitats in your own garden.
This activity is a great one to do together as a family. Younger children will need support to complete this activity.
This lesson has been created in partnership with ACT for Bees. ACT for Bees is a not-for-profit organisation taking action to preserve these essential pollinators to ensure a food secure future.
Ideal for: Ages 3 to 7
- fresh air
- be creative
- think and connect
Time required: 20-40 minutes
Curriculum connections: Science, Arts, Critical and Creative Thinking.
Background information: There are thousands of bee species that live around the world. The European honey bee is the best known as it produces honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly, which are all used in a range of ways. Interestingly, bees are the only insect that produces food eaten by humans. They are also the only animal that doesn’t harm what it eats but actually enhances it.
Australia has 1600 native bee species that come in a range of size, the smallest being 2mm long and the largest being 24mm long. They also come in a range of colours, including red, yellow, black and iridescent green. Unlike the European honey bee, most native bees are solitary and don’t store honey. Instead, they build their own individual nests in which to raise their young. Only 11 species of native bees are social, making and storing small amounts of honey for their own food.
Find out more about bees here: About Bees and at ACT for Bees.
Safety advice: This activity requires that you head outside to observe bees. Please read the Bee Safe Factsheet and ensure children understand how to be safe around bees.
- Art-making materials (i.e. paper, coloured pencils, markers, crayons, or paint)
- Bee Safe Factsheet
- Insect Pollinator Observation Sheet (optional)
- Native Bee Anatomy
- Native Bee Bunting Template
- Native Bee Finger Puppet Template
- Native Bee Flashcards
- Role-Play Activity
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.