Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope you are well and enjoyed a wonderful half term. I had a lovely break filled with meeting many friends and families for coffees, breakfasts and dinners. I also had a super weekend celebrating my nephew’s 6th birthday. We had a surprise beach party in Norfolk for him and a selection of close friends and family – I could spend every Friday paddling in the sea and eating ice-cream! It was perfect. I cannot, however, believe that he is 6 – time us passing so quickly.
I have been thinking all week about what to write to you about today and I was inspired by Zoe Ball on the radio yesterday to talk about bees! Those of you who read my Bulletin or were in school last year know all about my unfortunate incident with a very angry bee (or wasp – I’m not 100% sure as I didn’t look that closely). For those of you who aren’t aware – long story short, I do not react very well to being stung at all!
However, having said all of this, I do love bees – they are amazing creature, without who our world would come to an end. Bees pollinate the vast majority of food that we need to survive and also they pollinate many of the plants and trees that provide a habitat for wildlife. Bees also pollinate the trees that help filter our air and keep our environment clean.
However, a world without bees is becoming a possibility due to the decline of these insects. If I heard correctly this morning, In the UK alone there are over 280 types of bees. However, over 30 different species have become extinct in recent years due to the use of pesticides, deforestation, pollution and climate change to name just a few factors. That is such a huge decline. If bees did become extinct our plant would be in serious trouble due to their very important part in all of our eco-systems.
So what can we do to help the bees? We can do many simple, yet highly effective things that help our bees from planting bee friendly flowers (such as lavender and bluebells) in our gardens and window boxes to stop using pesticides to building a bee hotel to provide shelter for the bees in extreme weather to only eating locally sourced honey to help protect our bees and beekeepers. We can also help bees that are in need. Often during the summer months, you may spot a solitary bee sitting still on the ground. Whilst it is easy to presume it might be dead or dying, chances are it is actually exhausted and in need of a quick drink. You can help out a tired bee by mixing two tablespoons of white, granulated sugar with one tablespoon of water, placing it near the bee so it can help itself to this homemade energy drink.
You see, it’s so easy to bee (!) a friend to the bees and our actions will have a hugely positive impact.
I’ll leave you today with 10 extremely interesting facts about honey bees. . .Thanks to National Geographic Kids for these!
- Honey bees are super-important pollinators for flowers, fruits and vegetables. This means that they help other plants grow! Bees transfer pollen between the male and female parts, allowing plants to grow seeds and fruit.
- Honey bees live in hives (or colonies). The members of the hive are divided into three types:
Queen: One queen runs the whole hive. Her job is to lay the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. The queen also produces chemicals that guide the behaviour of the other bees.
Workers: these are all female and their roles are to forage for food (pollen and nectar from flowers), build and protect the hive, clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive.
Drones: These are the male bees, and their purpose is to mate with the new queen. Several hundred live in each hive during the spring and summer. But come winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out!
- What are these buzzing bugs most famous for? Delicious honey! But did you know they produce honey as food stores for the hive during winter? Luckily for us, these efficient little workers produce 2-3 time more honey than they need, so we get to enjoy the tasty treat, too!
4. If the queen bee dies, workers will create a new queen by selecting a young larva (the newly hatched baby insects) and feeding it a special food called “royal jelly“. This enables the larva to develop into a fertile queen.
- Honey bees are fab flyers. They fly at a speed of around 25km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second!
- Each bee has 170 odorant receptors, which means they have one serious sense of smell! They use this to communicate within the hive and to recognise different types of flowers when looking for food.
- The average worker bee lives for just five to six weeks. During this time, she’ll produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
- The queen can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day!
- Honey bees are also brilliant boogiers! To share information about the best food sources, they perform their ‘waggle dance’. When the worker returns to the hive, it moves in a figure-of-eight and waggles its body to indicate the direction of the food source.
- Sadly, over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been disappearing, and the reason remains unknown. Referred to as ‘colony collapse disorder’, billions of honey bees across the world are leaving their hives, never to return. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared!
Days of the year themes for the coming week:
Tuesday 8th June – World Oceans Day and Best Friend Day
Wednesday 9th June – Donald Duck Day
Thursday 10th June – Iced Tea Day, Ball Point Pen Day and Farm Workers Day
Friday 11th June – Yarn Bombing Day, Corn On The Cob Day and German Chocolate Cake Day
Saturday 12th June – Superman Day, World Falafel Day, Peanut Butter Cookie Day, Record Store Day, Red Rose Day and one for Mrs Bennett and all the mums and dads – World Gin Day!
Sunday 13th June – Sewing Machine Day and International Axe Throwing Day
Monday 14th June – Cupcake Day, Flag Day and International Bath Day
Quote of the week: “Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you enjoy your life” – Joyce Meyen
Riddles of the Week: I thought for a few weeks we would mix it up a bit and replace out jokes and facts of the week with riddles of the week! Get your thinking caps on!
If two’s company, and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?
The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I?
Four legs up, four legs down, soft in the middle, Hard all around. What am I?
Joyful June calendar task (This month’s theme is all about appreciating the little things and finding joy):
Tuesday 8th June:
Find joy in music – sing, dance, move
Wednesday 9th June:
Ask a friend about something that has made them happy
Thursday 10th June:
Bring joy to others by doing something kind to them
Friday 11th June:
Eat good food that makes you happy
Saturday 12th June:
Write a thank you letter to someone
Sunday 13th June:
Choose to see the funny side in a bad situation
Monday 14th June:
Share a happy memory
Sleeps til Santa: 199 days
Five things I am looking forward to this week (thanks to Mrs Hinch for the inspiration): Can you try this each day? Remember, it focuses your mind on the positive and reminds us to show gratitude for things, no matter how small!
This week I am looking forward to: trying out a new recipe, my evening walk, seeing friends on Friday night, Facetime with Arthur and Amelie and reading in bed!
Have a great rest of this week and enjoy the sunshine!
Lots of love
Riddle answers: 9! Footsteps and a bed.