Activity Introduction

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.

Tips for Parents and Carers

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.

Lesson and Curriculum Details

Resources Required


Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Activity Instructions

Part A: Know Your Locals

Step 1. Explain to children that in this activity they will be thinking about, talking about and observing bees.

Begin by asking children what they already know about bees, for example:

  • I wonder what bees look like?
  • I wonder where we can find bees?
  • I wonder if bees make noise?
  • I wonder if bees make anything we can eat?
  • I wonder what we like about bees?

Step 2. You will now work together to have a look at some pictures of bees (see Native Bee Flashcards). Explain that these are all bees and that you might have seen some of these bees in your garden.

As you look at the images, talk about what you notice about these bees, for example:

  • What is interesting?
  • What is strange?
  • What you would like to know more about?

Step 3. Read the following to children:

As you can see from these images, Australian native bees come in lots of sizes and colours. But there are many more native bees than those on the flashcards - there

- or - to view worksheets

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