It was a busy afternoon for Green Team this week!
First, we customised some cool Bee Hotels from Morrisons! These are just £3 each and much better than buying yourself some sweets or chocolate! Each Bee hotel has lots of bamboo canes in it. A special kind of bee called a solitary bee lives in these. The female crawls down to the end of the tube and lays an egg. She then flies to lots of flowers to collect pollen and nectar and packs it around her egg. She then seals the egg and its ‘packed lunch’ into the tube by making a little doorway over the end with mud or leaves (depending what type of bee it is). The bee keeps doing this until it reaches the front of the tube. The tube is now full of about 6 or so eggs, each in its own little ‘room’. The eggs hatch and the little bee nymphs eats all the pollen and nectar and then pupates (turns into a cocoon) . It spends all winter in the tube, turning into a new bee. In the Spring, the new bees nibble their way out of their little rooms and emerge to carry on their life cycle!
Solitary bees are great pollinators and many do not have a sting and they rarely hurt us so they are safe to watch. We hope to get lots in our customised bee hotels. We will be making some more of our own for this wall too… so watch this space!
We then headed to the Wild Learning Area for a spot of Pond Dipping. We were very excited when we caught both a male and a female Smooth Newt! The male had lovely zig-zagged edges to his tail and a bright spotted under belly. We all gently held the newts whilst they were in the tray. We also caught a pond skater and a water boatman.