Our Food Supply Depends on Bees!

As we approach the year 2050 it is estimated that the world’s population will reach 9.7 billion people. Although this seems a long way away, it is within students’ lifetime. Because of this expected population increase we need to be smart about how we use resources today, to make sure they are available in abundance in future years. 

Bees pollinate a whopping TWO THIRDS of our food production.

Most Fruit, Nuts, Vegetables, Seeds, and Livestock Feed production is dependant on the existence of Bees. They are more vulnerable to disease and pests through the overuse of pesticides, herbicides, and modern agricultural practices. Human activity is reducing the habitat and food sources.

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What Can We Do?

ACT for Bees has put together some great resources and actions that you and your kids can take part in to raise awareness and habitat for these local legends. Visit the ACT for Bees Australian Native Bees page for guides on building your own bee hotel as well as planting & creating habitat to attract bees. Please share these resources. More bees equals more food security for all!

We also have a dedicated digital library for students wishing to research further.

New Lessons!

   

Learn@Home – Observing Native Bees

Investigating Native Bees – Years 5 & 6

   
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.  Students develop an understanding of the importance of native bees and propose actions to protect them. They begin by working collaboratively to undertake secondary research in order to create a class library about native bees. 
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Early Learning 

This set of lessons is designed to help connect children to the wonders of the natural world through sensory and play-based learning.

Growing Seeds

Comparing Seeds

Up Close With Bees

Where Can You Find Seeds?

In this activity children explore how plants grow from seeds. Children begin by looking for plants in their yard and identifying the parts of a plant. They then participate in a guided role-play activity where they act out the way a seed grows into a plant.  In this activity children explore some of the different types of seed that we eat. Children begin by looking at a range of dried seeds, comparing their size, colour, texture, and shape.

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In this activity children investigate the features of bees and how bees use these features. Younger children begin by sharing what they already know about bees and then look at and discuss flashcards of bees. Children can then make bee finger puppets using a template. 

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In this activity, children explore the ways seeds grow in fruits and vegetables. Children observe and compare a range of fruits and vegetables based on weight, colour, size, texture and smell, and will look for the seeds in these fruits and vegetables. 
 


Colouring In Activity!

Have some fun and get creative with this lovely illustration of the Blue Banded Bee. This is a great mindfulness activity your students can enjoy after learning so much about the importance of bees. You can download a copy here.

Bees In The Yard

Seed Walk

In this activity children investigate bees in the yard and learn how to be safe around bees. Younger children go out into the yard and observe bees before participating in a guided role-play around bees, collecting pollen and nectar and returning to the hive. Children investigate seeds in their local area. Younger children are asked to observe and touch a range of seeds (and other natural materials) found in their local area, and to use these materials in art and crafts. 

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Primary – Years 5 and 6

This unit supports students to inquire into the role of bees in the ecosystem and how they can flourish in their role as pollinators. Students develop an understanding of bees, their role as pollinators, the threats they face and the steps they can take to be bee-friendly. By practising critical and creative thinking, students will be equipped to consider the impact of bees based on social, environmental and economic criteria and will be encouraged to take action around this important issue.

Beeing Curious

Beeing Observant

Beeing Mindful

Bees, Pollination and Food

English, Science
This tuning-in lesson introduces the topic of bees through a ‘Stand on the Line’ activity, wherein students consider a number of statements and justify their opinion. 
Science
Students are connected to the wonder of bees by observing them interacting with plants in their schoolyard and in their gardens. 
Health, Science
This mindfulness activity is designed to connect students to their local environment while teaching awareness of posture, breathing, relaxation and concentration.
Science, English, Bus. Ec., Maths
Students will be introduced to the connection between bees, flowering plants and food through a range of activities. They will view a short video about the symbiotic relationship between bees and plants. 
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Bee’s Knees and Flower Power

What Are The Threats?

Beeing Helpful

Beauty of Bees

English, Science
In this lesson, students will dissect a flower to examine the internal anatomy that assists with attracting pollinators. They will then explore the body structure of bees that assist with the pollination process.
Science, English, Bus. Ec., Maths
This lesson uses the jigsaw classroom method to facilitate student inquiry into the threats faced by bees. Students become experts in one threat faced by bees by reading information, then work with their group and present what they have learned.
Science, English, Bus. Ec., Maths
In this lesson, students find ways to address the threats faced by bees and share the solutions they find with the class. They will adopt a research strategy to use when engaging in an online search to find out about how to be bee friendly.
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Arts, Maths
Students explore the concept of a social enterprise. After reviewing prior knowledge students identify what a social enterprise is. They then look at how the action the GPS team took could be converted into a social enterprise. 
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Secondary – Years 9 and 10

This unit supports students to inquire into the relationships between agriculture, food security and bees. Students develop an understanding of bees and how their role as pollinators is pivotal to human food production. They identify how human actions can affect bees and their ability to pollinate our food, and how this is a risk to future food security. Students will use their learning to explore actions they can take to protect bees and other pollinators. By practising critical and creative thinking, students will be equipped to consider the impact of bees based on social, environmental and economic criteria and will be encouraged to take action around this important issue.

Introduction to Food Security

Powerful Pollinators

Sustainable Agriculture

A Sustainable Food Future

Geography
In this lesson, students will be introduced to food security in Australia and globally. A class discussion is used to identify key aspects of food security before students work in groups to critically analyse a range of clips about food production and food security. 
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Geography
In a flipped classroom-style activity students watch clips at home to deepen their knowledge about the importance of bees to our food security and the causes of declining bee populations. 
Geography
In this lesson, students will examine the concept of sustainability as it applies to agriculture, and explore links between sustainable agriculture and food security. 

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Geography
In this lesson students will review and critically examine typical features of sustainable agriculture to complete a Diamond Ranking activity. 
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Supporting Sustainable Food

Taking Action for Food Security

 
Geography
In this lesson students will review and critically examine typical features of sustainable agriculture to complete a Diamond Ranking activity. They will examine different categories of food producers and identify examples for each

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Geography
In this lesson, students will create a proposal to improve your school’s support of sustainable agriculture. To begin this lesson, students will identify a range of food-related actions that they can take to reduce their own environmental footprints. 

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About ACT for Bees

These lessons have 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.  

 

Cool Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and recognise the continuing connection to land, water and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, and to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this website may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.

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