Project creating a buzz for pupils

Carol Musgrove, Friends of the Earth youth and education network, pupils Simar Bhagat, Owen Blackburn, Abigail Eberhardt, Bethany Heron, Lucy Williams, Coun John Stirling, teacher Karen Davy.
Carol Musgrove, Friends of the Earth youth and education network, pupils Simar Bhagat, Owen Blackburn, Abigail Eberhardt, Bethany Heron, Lucy Williams, Coun John Stirling, teacher Karen Davy.
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Special visitors created a buzz when they flew by a North Tyneside school.

A five-foot fluffy bee visited Langley First School, Monkseaton, to tell children about the importance of the borough’s bees.

It was great to see how much the children enjoyed the visit and they really seemed to grasp why protecting and increasing the bee population is so important

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member for sustainable development and biodiversity

It was part of a biodiversity project by North Tyneside Council and Youth and Education Friends of the Earth to help to conserve and enhance the bee population.

Coun John Stirling, cabinet member for sustainable development and biodiversity, said: “It was great to see how much the children enjoyed the visit and they really seemed to grasp why protecting and increasing the bee population is so important.

“People don’t often appreciate just how important bees are to us. It’s estimated that one third of our food is pollinated by the insects, so the decline in their population is worrying.

“The children learnt about this as well as how pollination takes place.”

“Friends of the Earth and our park wardens were brilliant in explaining that everyday things they eat, like beans, tomato ketchup and strawberry jam, are made of foods pollinated by bees.

“Langley pupils seemed to particularly enjoy the ‘waggle’ dance demonstrated by the Friends of the Earth to show how bees communicate with each other.

“The activities within the borough’s schools are just one aspect of the project, though, we’re also creating extra bee habitats in other areas of the borough, holding resident awareness workshops and increasing wildflower planting.”

Friends of the Earth volunteer Carol Musgrove, who also donned the bee costume and led the assembly, added: “Friends of the Earth has been working on the ‘Bee Cause Campaign’ since early 2012 to help reverse the decline in British bees.

“It has been fabulous to deliver the Bee Cause Assembly to the schools that have signed up to North Tyneside Council’s Bee Conservation Project.

“All British bees are important in our food production; the children have learnt that honey, bumble and solitary Bees are very important in producing our food.

“We can’t afford not to help bees for the free pollination services they provide.

“To help bees, plant at least two bee-friendly plants per season in your garden, or in containers, don’t use pesticides, and put out a saucer of water with pebbles in it as landing strips.

“Bee work is thirsty work after all, to make one jar of honey they have to fly the equivalent of twice around the world.”

For more information about the work of North Tyneside Friends of the Earth or educational resources, email education@foe.co.uk