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Bees play a crucial role in helping nature thrive, and they need our help! This super simple activity is a great way to get kids involved in caring for our pollinating friends, while promoting compassionate empathy—the ability to put empathy into action in the service of others. And, when kids become helpers to bees, they learn how interconnected all living things are and how each of us can make a difference.
Set the context
Head outside to look for and observe the bees in your outdoor space. Or, read books about bees and other pollinators. One of our favorites is “Please Please the Bees” by Gerald Kelley. Watch a read-aloud here.
Let kids know that nectar is not the only thing that bees collect. Bees need to drink water, just like us! Bees use water to digest their food, feed their babies and dilute honey that has become too thick or crystalized. Bees also add water to their hive and fan it with their wings to cool down the hive when it becomes too hot. Invite your child to put water on their skin and blow on it to see how this works. The pollen and nectar that bees eat don't contain much water, though, so bees must have a water source.
To transition into the activity, say, “Bees do such important work for plants and flowers. Do you think we could help the bees by making them a water fountain to drink from?”
Gather the materials
Gather a dish or a plate and a bottle of water. Let kids know that bees can’t swim, so they will need some rocks to land on while they are drinking water. Search for rocks together.
Make a Water Fountain for Bees