Building a Bee Hotel

Building a Bee Hotel:
The second workshop was to build a bee hotel. The garden had a commercially produced bee home, but this “hotel” will provide for a greater variety of bees and allow for easier cleaning to ensure viruses and bacteria and other pathogens do not build up. Two students from the EcoJustice grade 8 program contacted me, asking if the Prairie Habitat Garden would be willing to host the bee hotel. I enthusiastically responded, and invited them to teach an elementary school class how to do this simultaneous to building the hotel. The students, Emma and Connor, provided two wood palettes, and firewood. I provided straw (with hollow stems, from last years plants), clay pots and clay bricks. Sarah Godson’s grade 4 class from Brunskill School walked over to the garden to participate. The workshop began with a power point lecture on what is a species, what is a niche, what is a habitat, and also addressed the great variety of kinds of bees there are in the world. Then Emma and Connor took over, taking the children outside to play two games and to build the hotel. While one group built the hotel, another group played a “virus-infection” simulation (the virus-infected bee was “it”, and anyone tagged joined the virus-infected team until every one was infected) or a biodiversity simulation” (children were bees and had to seek ten different kinds of flower in the Prairie Habitat Garden, and then ten different kinds of flower in the soccer pitch – guess which location provided greater biodiversity of flowers!) The students rotated through the different activities.

About Janet McVittie

Faculty, Department of Educational Foundations College of Education, University of Saskatchewan Research interests: social and ecological justice, experiential and inquiry learning, assessment for learning.
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