ARP Busy Bee Day!

Over the last half term, ARP 2 have been learning about bees after developing a love for honey and wanting to know how it was made.  We researched the different species of bees and were shocked to learn that they are endangered!   We found out how we can make changes to help look after bees so they don’t become extinct.  

Tayo had a fabulous idea of planning a whole school fundraising event to raise some money to send to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.  We spent the next few weeks busily making items to sell and displaying our work to teach other children what we had learned.

To start our busy day, we had a visit from Stephen and Chris who were bee experts from South Staffordshire Bee Keepers Association.  They were amazed at what we already knew and showed us beeswax which they use to make candles and furniture polish.

Find out more here http://southstaffsbeekeepers.co.uk/

They taught us how they use different equipment to look after the bees in their hive so that they can make honey.

The smoker is used to move the bees out of their hive. We were interested to know that they think the smoke is a fire in their hive so they eat 4 day’s worth of nectar. Once they are full, they can’t sting properly. The bees can move out of the hive safely so the bee keepers can get to their frames.

The 4 frames filled with honey in the cells (honeycomb) are then placed inside the extractor and spun so that the honey drips down the sides of the machine. The bee keeper then opens the tap and the honey pours out.

We spent the rest of the day getting all of our equipment ready to put on the Bee Day stalls.

After lunch, ARP 2 and Year 5 children helped to run a stall either selling items or teaching children about bees. The playground was a hive of activity – it was lovely to see the children enjoying themselves, eating ice-cream, playing with the Beebots, buying Tayo’s maps, learning facts about bees and how they pollinate flowers.

Have a look at the children buying, learning and taking part in the activities. Most children made a beeline for the ice cream!

We were interested to read the feedback other children had left us. We found out what children had learned, what they had enjoyed and what they would like to see next time.

ARP would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all children, staff and parents who bought items from the Bee Day and made generous donations.

We raised over £500 – what an amazing achievement! Some of this money will be donated to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to help them do further work to save the bees.

The Life Cycle of a Butterfly

During the year, the children in ARP1 have been observing change over time in science. They began by noticing changes by season in Woodlanders, then observing the bean cycle in gardening time and most excitedly this term, the butterfly life cycle.

The children were thrilled when a cup of tiny caterpillars arrived in the classroom. They counted them and found there were five inside.

Everyday as the children arrived, their first port of call in the classroom would be to check on the caterpillars!

“Look! They’re getting bigger and bigger. When we had them first, they were tiny and now they’ve eaten their food, they have got soooooo big!” said Viraj.

After they had eaten a lot of food, they crawled to the top of the pot. “They stick themselves to the top of the pot with their silk. It’s a bit like glue!” said George.

After a couple of days hanging at the top of the pot, the caterpillars used their silk to spin it around themselves and create a chrysalis. They also shed their skin as they no longer need it. We had four caterpillars that successfully created their chrysalis.

Logan signed “caterpillar in chrysalis”, “wait” and “4”.

Elliot said “Caterpillars made a chrysalis”.

The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly takes around 7-10 days. We waited patiently checking on them daily. The children noticed that over time, the chrysalis got darker and darker.

“Chrysalis black” signed Carlo.

After waiting so patiently, the children were ecstatic when the first butterflies emerged. The wings were small and curled up. We watched as the butterflies rested whilst they pumped liquid into them to make them bigger and stronger.

Viraj said “they pump fluid into their wings to make them bigger and stronger and ready to fly!”

The children fed them with fruit and flowers and made up some nectar using sugar and warm water. This allowed them to observe them for a few more days before releasing them.

Alfie A enjoyed the process so much, he did some research at home. He proudly told the class “female butterflies have larger wings and male butterflies have spots on the bottom of their wings to tell us that they are males!”

We have really enjoyed watching our caterpillars change into butterflies and watching them fly away to start the process all over again!