Learning about bees and pollination at Iver Environment Centre

Iver Environment Centre is a bit of a hidden gem, just off the road going from Slough to Uxbridge. We first visited it a few days before Thomas was born and it’s become one of our favourite places to visit. During the school holidays, they have family fun mornings and afternoons with craft sessions as well as adventure days and weeks for over 7s. We’d booked a family fun morning with a craft session on bees and pollination.

 

Thomas looking at a painted wall with pictures of flowers and three bees – “Learning about bees and pollination at Iver Environment Centre”

 

Each table at the craft session was set up for use by a single household. We hadn’t booked Thomas into the craft session as it was over threes but this meant he could have joined in if he’d wanted to. He was quite happy sitting there drawing and rearranging the coloured pencils though while Sophie made a pipe cleaner bee.

 

Thomas arranging the coloured pencils on the table

 

Sophie made her bee by twirling black and yellow pipe cleaners around a pencil to form the body. She then twisted a white pipe cleaner into a circle and twisted it again around the middle to form a figure of eight. This made the wings which she then slotted in between the black and yellow coils to complete the bee.

 

Sophie twirling yellow and black pipe cleaners around a pencil to make a bee

 

We then drew some flowers on the top of some paper cups and Daddy hid a sweet under one of them for Sophie to find with her bee. The session leader explained that bees’ eyesight is different from ours and they see colours on flowers differently. Sophie then used a UV light to look at the paper cups using bee vision to find which one was different. It happened to be the one the sweet was hidden under but that was pure coincidence!

 

Sophie trying to find the hidden sweet under paper cups with flowers drawn on top

 

We then wrote our own secret messages on paper flowers using a UV pen before heading out into the gardens to visit the beehives and learn more about how bees communicate. Sophie already knew about how bees do a waggle dance to let other bees know where to find nectar and pollen thanks to Go Jetters. She was in her element joining in and doing a waggle dance with the other children.

 

Sophie and Thomas near the beehives at Iver Environment Centre

 

We also learned that the yellow centre on forget-me-nots changes to white after they’ve been visited by a bee which is something I never knew before. I had to take a closer look at the forget-me-nots in our garden later on. Sure enough many of the flowers have white centres!

 

The session finished with the children dressing up as a bee and picking up pollen from a giant fabric flower. Thomas made the most adorable little bee!

 

Thomas dressed as a bee next to a giant fabric flower

 

There was also a trail around the grounds to find the answers to a crossword puzzle all about pollination. Sophie enjoyed looking out for the clues for this.

 

Sophie on a bridge in the rainforest area at Iver Environment Centre looking at one of the clues for her crossword

 

Thomas loved the new log trail in the natural play area. It’s a little high up in places for him, but Daddy was on hand to help him along.

 

Thomas walking along one of the logs on the log trail with Daddy holding his hand

 

The animal sounds board in the orchard was a big hit with both children. They loved turning the dial to hear all the different sounds.

 

Sophie turning a dial on a board to listen to different animal sounds

 

Sophie also enjoyed being a pollinator. She used a paintbrush to pick up pollen from one flower and transferred it to another flower of the same type. We talked about the different parts of the flower that we’d looked at in our home learning last year and how the pollen is transferred from the anthers to the stigma during pollination.

 

Sophie brushing a buttercup with a paintbrush to collect some pollen

 

Sophie also enjoyed trying out the barefoot walk. I’m not sure if this is a new addition or if we just haven’t noticed it on our previous visits.

 

Sophie walking barefoot over stones on the barefoot trail

 

We had a great morning at Iver Environment Centre and loved learning more about bees and pollination. The ticket price is very reasonable at £4 for entry per child over 3 (no charge for accompanying adults) and an extra £4 per child for the workshop. The ticket also books a space in the small car park. Spaces are limited to 15 households each for the family fun morning and afternoon. If you’re in the area, I’d certainly recommend it as a place to visit with children. We’ve always enjoyed the craft workshops and the children love exploring the gardens, particularly the rainforest area.

 

Thomas standing on a circular mosaic with pictures of bees, caterpillars, snails and bats

 

Visiting Iver Environment Centre – what you need to know:

Address:
Iver Environment Centre
Slough Road
Iver
Buckinghamshire
SL0 0EB

 

Opening times:

Iver Environment Centre is open on selected days during the year. Entry needs to be prebooked through the website.

 

Opening details are correct at the time of posting.

 

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20 thoughts on “Learning about bees and pollination at Iver Environment Centre

  1. This sounds like an amazing day out and really good value for money! As soon as the rain stops I’m going to go out and look at my forget me nots – I had no idea that the middles changed colour after a bee visits!

    #MMBC

  2. What an amazing place, so much learning made into fun. I adore Thomas Bee, I certainly wouldn’t swat him away 🙂 (not that I swat bees anyway, they are always welcome around me.)

    1. It is such a lovely place to visit, we’re very lucky to have somewhere like this nearby. Thomas was such a cute little bee.

  3. What a lovely experience. I have always wanted to keep bees and hopefully will one day. Not even a huge fan of honey but just something magical about the whole process.
    And thanks for helping me have a word with myself today when I was feeling low in mood. I really should count my blessings. #MMBC

    1. It was such a lovely way to learn more about bees. I like the thought of keeping bees too. I’m sorry that you were feeling low and hope that you are now feeling better.

  4. This sounds like an amazing place, what a shame we don’t live near it. What an interesting fact about the centres changing colour when they’ve been visited. Sounds like a really educational and fun visit.

    Katrina x
    #MischiefandMemories

    1. It is such a lovely place to visit and they run some great session for the children. We’re very lucky to have somewhere like this nearby.

  5. This looks like a great day out, it would be a bit far for us to do in a day but definitely something to look at if we’re in the area, both of my children are nervous about bees so this might help. I’m off to have a look at my mum’s Forget me nots now to see if any of them are white! #mischiefandmemories

  6. Oh wow! Iver Environment Centre looks like an amazing place to visit. Especially for little ones who like being outside. Thomas really does make for the most adorable bee. Thank you for sharing such a fab find over on #mischiefandmemories xx

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