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Day 35: Help the bees and a nature riddle

Outdoor activity ideas and inspiration

From mid-March to the end of May 2020, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust (HHLT) posted a simple outdoor activity idea and nature riddle for kids every weekday. Some days we also posted other resources, like downloadable chapters of the Junior Ranger Activity Book.

Created to support parents who found themselves homeschooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, these activity ideas are a great jumping off point for any outdoor adventure. Click here for a list with links to all 50 activity ideas.

Nature riddle

A few days ago I saw this animal for the first time this year. Usually this reptile lives on the bottom of ponds and wetlands, where it blends in with its surroundings and often goes unnoticed by humans. But in the spring a pregnant female will travel long distances to find the right place to lay her eggs. She digs a hole, deposits 20–50 white eggs the size of ping pong balls and covers the nest with sand and vegetation. Click here to read more about this fascinating animal.

Help the bees

Nobody likes to get a bee sting, but as the flowers start to bloom and the bees come out to pollinate them, remember that bees are very important creatures for us and the environment. Bees are a keystone species, meaning that they play a very valuable role in the food web. If they die out, everything that depends on them could die too. Humans depend on bees for our food supply because bees are pollinators, meaning they help plants to reproduce. Without bees, we wouldn’t have many of our favorite flowers, fruits and vegetables, and many creatures in the wild wouldn’t have a food supply either.

Unfortunately, climate change, habitat loss and the use of chemicals and pesticides on agricultural crops means that bee populations across the world are struggling. But there are things we all can do to help!

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Help your family plant a bee-friendly garden! Try to plant native flowers that bloom in different seasons. Click here for more resources about native flowers.
  2. Go chemical-free! Make sure that fertilizers, plant feed or sprays you use on your gardens won’t hurt the bees, or any other creatures.
  3. Build a bee bath! Take a large tub or bowl and fill it with clean water. Place some large stones in the tub so they’re a little above the surface of the water. Bees can land on the stones to take a nice, refreshing drink!
  4. Make a safe home for the bees! Many bee species actually live underground, so take care to leave spaces in your landscape undisturbed to give the bees a safe place to nest and live.

If you’re interested in learning more about bees, check out organizations like The Honeybee Conservancy or Planet Bee, which are working to find more ways to help the bees, and have many more suggestions of how you can join the cause.

This activity idea contributed by Emma Levy.