Today children try to make bee nests to learn about different nesting strategies of solitary bees.

MATERIALS

  • nature products
  • pictures of bee nests (download)
  • empty rolls of toilet paper (optional)

Instruction

The children gather the nature materials and try to build a nest for solitary bees.

Mason bees use ready cavities for nest construction – for example, empty corridors in wood by beetles, crevices in the wall, shells of snails or settle in rubber hoses, bamboo sticks and reeds. The cells are placed behind each other and separated by partitions made from clay and saliva.

Leafcutting bees bite pieces from the leaves of trees (willow, birch, hornbeam, etc.) to make their nests which they roll up either into the ground or into the rotting wood of the tree.

The children cut the circles out of the leaves, dig a hole in the sand, and put the leaves inside it. To hold a shape and make it easier the teacher can give them a roll of toilet paper and they put leaves inside it.

European wool carder bees build and litter their nests with hairs from plants.

Mud bees (Megachile species) build chambers glued from a solid mixture of sand and saliva in walls and rocks.

Mining bees nest in the ground, preferably sand, where they dig corridors to connect more nests.

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