Buzz Bunch busy with bee research
Bees buzzing at Berry Springs School are the subjects of a long-term student science project. The research is examining the survival, population dynamics and diet of the native insects.
The Buzz Bunch boffins, a group of 50 investigators from Year 3/4, have uncovered conditions in which the bees can proliferate, and those inimical to their existence.
Senior teacher and project coordinator Pip Norsworthy said the students have assessed several factors affecting the structural coherence and weather resistance of 12 mass-produced hives installed around the school.
“The climatic conditions likely to negatively affect the bee boxes were scrutinised,” she said. “Some boxes deteriorated quickly when exposed to the Sun and excessive amounts of water. Structurally sounder homes were needed.
“But the success of the hives were also tested by recording influences such as daily and seasonal temperature variations, and their proximity to water and food supplies — including the favoured spider lilies.
“The children learned about the importance of worker and nurse bees in maintaining the cleanliness of the hives, and noted cohabitation by different bee species.”
The students have made oral presentations of their findings. The project, which may last up to two years, follows the school’s award–winning study of the hand-sized Atlas Moth .