By Rock Bridge Elementary Students
How might we share our knowledge of bees and encourage our community to work together to create a healthier environment for our native bee populations?
When we initially started our projects, we blueprinted imaginary bee hotels. Then we did research on bees and revisited our designs. Once we learned about the needs bees have, the issues that our local bee population faces, and the way the hive functions, we were better prepared to design a more realistic beehive.
We brought in three bee experts to learn more about the issues. After hearing from the bee experts, we decided to actually build bee hotels that could be distributed around our community with instructions on how to care for the bees. We invited other community members to help us design our bee hotel prototypes. We met multiple times to develop prototypes. We researched multiple types of bee hotels and settled on three to choose from in the 90 minutes we had to build them.
We loved the build! Materials such as untreated scrap wood, nails, staples, and screws were donated and the frames were pre-constructed by community volunteers. We each got the opportunity to use a hammer and an electric drill to build the bee hotel of our choice.
We are distributing our beehives all around the community.
The biggest setback we had from this project was finding a stopping point. We wanted to keep exploring, keep researching, and keep learning about our native bees. We had to wrap up our project and move on to other units so we didn’t fall behind. We overcame this setback by learning how to “put a pin” in our Bee projects, learn through other topics, and then as time permitted, revisit our bee hotels.
Words of Wisdom:
“Listen to the students. When they have an interest in something, chase it. Build around what the kids want to learn about and I promise your efforts will be rewarded. This project was initially very overwhelming and I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. But once I started meeting with local experts, reaching out for community support, and learning about bees, things started to click into place. When the children are passionate about what they are learning and they see how they can make a difference, they will absorb information at an outstanding rate.”
— Caitlin Nichols, teacher