Kids Connecting Nature visited St Canice’s Primary School, Katoomba  recently to support them with their focus on protecting the bush environment. Though it was not a great day for bees – too chilly – it was a great day for constructing bee hotels ready for next spring! Protecting the Bush Environment is a school-wide term-long project set to empower the students to look after the amazing wild landscape that surrounds them. We love to hear about projects like that!

Looking after the vast bushy areas around us is vital as it provides important habitat for so many species, like the insect and animal pollinators that keep each ecosystem ticking over. But we also need to remember to look after the micro habitats. Most of the smaller bees have a very short flight range – like the homalictus bee – it can only fly between 20-60 metres! That means that foraging sources (nectar and pollen laden flowers) need to be close to their nest sites. The closer the nest is to food, the less time the female bee needs to be traveling and can spend more time nesting – creating the next bee generation.

70% of bees live in the ground, and almost 30% live in dead wood like stems and trunks. But in a more urban environment these elements are often missing – bare earth is covered up with manicured lawns, mulch, concrete and pebbles and dead wood is removed because it looks messy. So if you want more bees about, make sure they have places to nest and plenty of flowers all year round.

Thanks for having us St Canice’s, it is great to know the beautiful bushy Blue Mountains are in your care.

“Abbie was great with the kids, engaging and knowledgeable”

“Great team exercise, achievable in a short time”

“Interesting and engaging – they understand why we need bees!”

“Clear and easy to understand – pitched it perfectly for our students”

“This was very informative. Abbie has an obvious passion for bees and a wealth of knowledge which is beneficial to the kids”

“Engaging, informative, practical. The students loved making the bee hotels”

Teachers K-6 St Canice’s Catholic School May 2018