Sunday, 9 April 2017

Field Trip To Griffiths Garden

Our second trip saw us head to Griffiths Park in the city to meet the artist Sarah who is helping in the community garden in town. She is helping us to imagine Auckland as the safest city in the world for bees as part of the For The Love of Bees Project.
Us in the community garden
The trip was interesting and we learned a lot from Sarah about how the bees source food, and how they need to fly thousands of kilometers to get a quarter of a teaspoon of pollen. She also explained how plants have different sugar contents and how pesticide kills the microorganisms that help the plants grow, and reduces their sugar levels, and about the synthetic neonicotinoids that kill bees. We also learnt about how bees wings have limited durability.  Peter and Julian explained how they are starting to put shapes around bee hives so it's easier to find their home. They also shared that they are trying to plant different species of flowers, such as purple clover to provide food at different times of the year.
The team in town
We found out about how synthetic pesticide coating on seeds are one of the main causes behind the bees dying because they not only harm the bees they also kill the microorganisms that are helping the plants grow. This is causing the plants to have low sugar contents.

Julian was telling us how he and a few other schools have been setting up bee hives with different shapes with a unique colour. He said  that they were growing clovers and were planning on growing the different species of flowers so that the bee’s have a food source throughout all of the seasons. Julian was telling us how they are using heat sensors to manage the hives better because the bees heat up the larva to keep them warm. So the implementation of heat sensors will help to manage them better.

Overall it was a really interesting experience to have further improving our understanding of bees. Next step is to start working with the hives ourselves!

~ Aaron

Bees Bees Bees with the Bee Lady

Our first trip was to Tangaroa College where we got to meet the students and teachers working with us from other schools. We also got to meet Julian, who is helping us with the sensors, and Sara the Bee Lady, who would be teaching us some facts about bees. We also got to see inside a real hive and touch honey comb!

The Bee Lady's presentation at Tangaroa
Inside the hive we could see the Queen Bee moving around, along with plenty of worker bees which were smaller than the Queen. There was also one or two male bees, who were larger than the workers. We could see her move around the different parts of the hive to lay eggs in the holes. We learned that the female bees do all of the work, and if there are too many males then the workers will nibble off their wings and kick them out of the hive!

Ebony, Sara, Portia and me!
We learned the following information from Sara:
  • Bees have three parts: a head, a thorax and an abdomen and four wings
  • They have very good vision and five eyes
  • Their antenna have very good smell ability and help detect how close the flower is
  • Bees dance to communicate to each other - called the waggle dance
  • Bees have two stomachs, one for water and one for nectar
  • Bees are only able to sting you once because it will pull out its guts when it flies away
  • 80% of all of our food is pollinated by bees
  • When a hive gets hot the bees flap their wings to make a breeze to cool it down
  • A bee only usually lives for 6 weeks - 3 in the hive and 3 out of the hive
  • Pollution affects how the bees are able to smell their way home
  • The varroa mite is affecting the hives in NZ by killing the bees
We also learned the Bee Song:
Do you like to buzz?
Are you covered all in fuzz
Do you call a hive your home
In the garden where you roam
Do you like your honey
Are your stripes a little funny
Do you like to buzz?
Overall it was a very fun evening and I'm looking forward to the project!

~ Kororia

About Us!

Kia ora!

We are Ebony, Tuhua, Rangi, Aaron, Portia and Kororia. We are the kaitiaki of the Aorere College bee hives and participants in the For The Love of Bees project.
This project is about two things: imagining Auckland as the safest city in the world for bees, and investigating the hives using sound and heat sensors that we'll be putting in them. We are working together with students from other schools, including Kauri Flats and Tangaroa College. We'll be learning to take care of bees and sharing our knowledge with our class and the community.
Our bee hives in the school garden
The bees getting used to their new home
 Please follow us along our journey as we undertake our project. If you'd like to get in touch with us, you can contact our teacher, Aidan Kiely via email on akiely AT

Ka kite anō!