KU Mayfield creates haven for native bees with Bee Friendly Block for biodiversity
The children and educators at KU Mayfield have been embracing nature, purchasing a hive of native stingless bees after children’s interest in the insects was piqued by learning about their important role as pollinators.
“The children were fascinated and wanted to learn more about them,” a member of the preschool team said. “Most of us were not aware of the number of native bees in Australia or their important role. We were all surprised to learn how far these tiny insects fly when foraging and the children’s interest in where our bees might visit spawned the idea for our project.”
To begin their bee journey, educators and children let the residents of 42 neighbouring properties know that the preschool had adopted native bees and that they might visit their gardens. With money from a communities environment program grant, the service was able to expand this idea and offer neighbours a native plant to add to their garden.
The children shared what they had learnt by hand delivering a letter about native bees and how important they are for the environment. Neighbours were offered a native flowering plant and a bee hotel to encourage and support native bees visiting their gardens, in a bid to create a “Bee Friendly Block,” and increase the awareness of native bees within the community.
“Within our preschool we involved the children in establishing a new native garden bed right under our beehive,” a preschool spokesperson said.
“Beyond our preschool we have 18 neighbours who have become a part of the project. It has been great to establish new community relationships as we walked around the block with the preschool children making deliveries. Some of the neighbours have emailed us photos of their new plants once they were planted in their gardens. Through our project 67 native plants have been added to the area. We were mindful about including plants that flower at all different times of the year and some local indigenous plants as well.”
In recognition of their important work, the preschool received the 2021 SPROuts Award from the NSW Early Childhood Environmental Education Network, something educators say “is a reminder of the value of the learning and community connections this project has created over the past couple of years.”
To learn more about KU Mayfield, see here.
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