Bee house gift perfect

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Gore Main School is doing its part to encourage pollination.

As part of a promotion, New World Gore has given a bee house to the school.

Gore Main School teacher Sarah McKenzie said the school was grateful for the gesture.

“We are pleased New World Gore recognised us as an Enviroschool,” Miss McKenzie said.

The junior school had already been learning about bees when they found out about the bee house.

“It fitted in really well with the unit we are doing.”

The senior school was also learning about bees and pollination as part of a unit on vegetable gardens, Miss McKenzie said.

Senior Enviro Council member Talia Moody said the bee house would house 50 leafcutter bees.

“If leafcutter bees land on 100 flowers, they will pollinate 95% of them,” Talia said.

Honey bees only pollinated 5% of the flowers they landed on, she said.

The leafcutter bees were still in the pupal stage, Talia said.

“They will come out in January or February.”

The larvae needed 21 days of 21degC heat before they emerged as adults, she said.

Miss McKenzie said the school was a silver Enviroschool and was working towards gaining the green gold award.

“This is really good for that because it is getting the community involved,” she said.

The school was going to work hard to create a garden with plants that would attract bees, she said.

“The bees only travel 90m from the bee house, so they will stay within the school – which is cool.”

Leafcutter bees were about a quarter the size of honey bees, had a very mild sting and only stung if squashed.

“They are very gentle and kid-friendly,” Miss McKenzie said.

“They are the key to increasing pollination.”