Children and Beekeeping

Reader Contribution by The Surrey Beekeeper
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 Photo by Pixabay/Lichtsammler

It was the most beautiful day yesterday down here in the South of England and, as it was Mothering Sunday we all decided to drive to one of our favourite places in the world RHS Wisley. It was while eating a lovely lunch that I read a leaflet that they were handing out and I felt it was perfect to get children (and adults!) interested in beekeeping. Therefore I take no responsibility for coming up with this but I hope you like the idea as I think it is brilliant!

The Bee Color Experiment 

Bees can see ultraviolet light which means they are more attracted to flowers of certain colours. Using this simple experiment, you will be able to see which coloured flowers are the most popular with bees in your garden

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 circle/square of paper in each of the following 7 colours; Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple and White
  • 7 Plastic bottle tops (white ones if possible)
  • Half a cup of sugar
  • Warm water
  • A pencil and paper
  • A bit of patience waiting for the bees!

What to do: 

  1. Ask a grown up to help you mix half a cup of sugar with half a cup of warm water. Mix together until the sugar has dissolved and leave to cool
  2. Cut out your coloured circles/squares of paper, roughly the same size as the base of a large bottle (if you prefer you could cut them into flower shapes!)
  3. Place your coloured paper shapes in a line on a flat surface in a sunny place in your garden. Make sure they are about 5cm apart from each other (if its windy outside you may need to take your paper shapes down so they don’t blow away!)
  4. Clean out your bottle tops with water before carefully filling each one half full with sugar water.
  5. Place on bottle top with sugar water in the middle of each coloured paper shape and watch to see if the bees pay a visit!
  6. using your pencil and paper, make a tally of how many times a bee visits each colour. Which colours did they like the most? Do any other insects, such as butterflies, visit your artificial flowers too?

So there you have it. I hope you liked the suggestion by the RHS. I’m off to try it myself now with my two boys. 

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