In Search of Bumblebees with the Pre-Prep
“Look, over there, a bumblebee – on that poppy!”
“It’s a red-tailed bumblebee!”
“No, it’s a white-tailed one!”
And so the search was on as each pupil in the Pre-Prep had the exciting opportunity to take part in a bumblebee safari, making great use of their noticing skills as they searched the many colourful wildflowers in the Walled Garden for these highly important insects.
It was all part of a visit from Andy and Alice from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. They came to give an assembly for the children, who listened attentively and asked lots of thoughtful questions. They learnt the difference between honeybees, solitary bees and bumblebees; the life cycle of bumblebees; about different classifications of bumblebees, and the vital role that bumblebees play in pollinating our food. They learnt that 1 in 3 mouthfuls of food that we eat has been pollinated by an insect, and that bumblebees are under threat at present. They discovered that the best way they can support bumblebees is to plant lots of wildflowers.
The children were able to put what they had learnt into practice as they embarked on the bumblebee safari, watching bees pollinate flowers in the Walled Garden and looking for the different places that bees might want to nest in near the polytunnels. They also learnt the names of different parts of a flower, and how bumblebees help flowers to reproduce. At lunchtime, they had a tomato tasting session whilst learning about how bumblebees pollinate tomato plants.
The visit was such a good opportunity for the children (and staff!) to look at the natural world in the Pre-Prep ground – and beyond – in an enhanced way, and to understand the role that we can all play in protecting the natural world. It was also a reminder of how lucky the children are at Pre-Prep to be amongst so much green space, where they can put their noticing skills and newfound knowledge into instant practise. Thank you very much to Andy and Alice from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust!