Native Bee Habitat Survey
Teacher-Led Field Activity
What are the characteristics of this habitat? Is it good habitat for bees?
Students observe and evaluate a local natural area in terms of its suitability as habitat for native bees.
Note: You can combine this activity with Activity 3: “Bee Bundles for Native Bee Nests.”
Students will need:
- Native “Bee Habitat Survey” reproducible activity sheet (one for each student)
Two class periods: one for discussion and preparation for a field trip, one for a field trip to a nearby natural area.
What to do:
- Review with students what they have learned in their Audubon Adventures student magazines about what bees eat and where they nest. Ask students where they have seen bees. Ask them to describe the kind of place that would be a good habitat for bees to find what they need to survive. What does it look like? What grows there? Why would it be good habitat for bees?
- Take the class to a nearby Audubon Center, garden, park, organic farm, or open space in the neighborhood—any sunny place that has different kinds of flowers and patches of undisturbed bare ground. Distribute copies of the “Native Bee Habitat Survey” activity sheet.
- Have the group split up and survey different areas. Allow them 15-20 minutes to observe the habitat and record their observations on their activity sheets.
- Back in the classroom, review students’ observations recorded on their activity sheets. What is the consensus? Was the area good habitat for bees? Why or why not?
- In the field, students observe and record the field marks for as many different perching bird species as possible, using the duplicating masters as well as their Naturalists’ Journals.
- Back in the classroom, students can use field guides and other resources to identify the species of the birds they saw in the field.
If possible, return to the location during warm weather when flowers are blooming to see if bees are present.
Photos: Dan Mullen; Clay Bolt.