18th June 2004 at 01:00
KS2 Test wasp food preferences by placing saucers containing different jams or fruit juices on a table outside the classroom, so the children may observe through the window. Count the number of wasps visiting each saucer in a known time. Remember to remove the saucers and foods before the children go out!

KS 3-4 Look at preserved specimens of bees and wasps. Observe the characteristics that classify the animals as arthropods and insects. Also observe the similarities and differences between bees and wasps.

In summer, look at flowers as different as Snapdragons, Grandma's Bonnet (Aquilegia), Honeysuckle, Roses and Buttercups, to find out where nectar is located and the variety of mechanisms used by flowers to attract insects and facilitate pollination. Look at flowers illuminated by ultra-violet light and see the patterns invisible to us but seen by insects. "Black eyed Susan" flowers are good for this.

If you have flowering plants in the school grounds, watch pollinating insects in action. You may have to judge if your class will enjoy such an activity or be frightened of being near to bees.

Jackie Hardie

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