Introduction

Our goal is to support teachers, administrators, guardians, youth groups, after school programs, amongst others, in guiding students through a discovery process that will increase students’ understanding in science, math, and language arts by connecting them to plants, pollinators, food, and gardens by (potentially) creating habitat for pollinators. We say “potentially” because building a school habitat garden requires a real commitment.  Planting the garden habitat is relatively easy, but making it grow, thrive, and survive several seasons is a commitment and a challenge.

We believe that getting children outside and into the garden is the most valuable part of this experience. But we are also realistic and we urge you to be, too.

More than anything, we want you to use the Bee Smart® School Garden Kit to help expose your students to new ideas about food, wildlife, and plants. It should also help students choose behaviors that support their own health, the health of the planet, and all its plants and animals. And we want the experience to be one that gives you fun, easy, and effective tools to teach and support your curriculum objectives. 

We look forward to a bee-utiful learning experience together!

Overview

The Kit can be approached in 3 ways:

  • Using school land to create or augment a garden habitat
  • Using other demonstration areas to create or visit garden habitat
  • Using only in-classroom lessons and on-line experiences without a garden

Each Kit has components that can be used at school, at home, and online to maximize the learning experience. Although we know a diverse group of schools will be using this Kit, we have included the California School Standards at the end of each Lesson Plan as a point of reference.  There will also be recommendations that will help connect community resources to the outdoor classroom. Each Kit will include teacher incentives from our partner, Burt’s Bees, to reward teachers for helping students become more bee-conscious.

Target Audience and Goals

We have developed the Bee Smart® School Garden Kit for school administrators, educators, teachers, garden coordinators, and parents for use with students in grades 3 to 6.

The Bee Smart® School Garden Kit Includes:

  • Pre- and post-tests
  • 10 lesson plans with accompanying reproducible worksheets
  • Materials for lesson plan activities
  • Reproducible handouts
  • Access to additional Bee Smart® School Garden Kit materials on the Pollinator Partnership website at www.pollinator.org.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get a Bee Smart® School Garden Kit?  Visit this link: http://pollinator.org/beesmart_give.htm
  • Is my donation tax deductible?  For your $150 donation, you receive a School Garden Kit valued at $100 – that is our cost to produce the materials alone for each kit. The remaining $50 of the $150 is tax-deductable as a donation to our work as a 501 (c)(3) non profit. It is tax deductable to the full extent allowed by law.
  • Do we ship outside of the U.S.?  Not at this time.
  • Can the shipping address be different from the billing address?  Yes, add your shipping address information under the "Add Special Instructions to the Seller" on the PayPal "Review" page when donating via credit card.
  • How long does it take for the package to arrive?  Within 2 weeks.
  • How will the package be shipped?  Priority United States Postal Service.
  • Can I rush the delivery of the Kit?  Not at this time.
  • Can I pay by check? Yes. Send the check with a note included that this is for the Bee Smart School Garden Kit.  Make payable and mail to: Pollinator Partnership  423 Washington St., 5th Floor  San Francisco, CA  94111

Photo Credits

Special thanks to photographer Marshall Gordon and artist representative Freda Scott for their contribution of Bee Smart® School Garden Kit photographs for use on the P2 website and outreach materials.

Legal

  • Disclaimer of Liability: The Pollinator Partnership disclaims, and recipients hereby agree to assume, all responsibility and liability for any damages or other harm, whether to recipients or to third-parties, resulting from recipients use of the Bee Smart® School Garden Kit.
  • The Bee Smart® School Garden Kit cannot be used for resale or reproduced without permission from the Pollinator Partnership.


BeeSmart is a registered trademark of Bee Smart Designs, manufacturers of Ultimate Beekeeping Equipment, and is used with permission.

Fun

Discover fun ways kids can learn about the importance of pollinators! 


Answer Keys

Gardens

Building a strong garden team.

The Student Team

Students should participate in all aspects of the garden. They will gain a sense of purpose, accomplishment, and ownership of the garden by being part of the maintenance effort. Group students in pairs or threes and assign each team a specific task. This kind of team focus should be organized before leaving the classroom for a garden visit. Teams can each be doing jobs such as “Pollinator Observation,” “Harvesting” “Watering,” and “Unintended Plant Removal (weeding),” etc.

The Garden Coordinator

Ideally, the Garden Coordinator will be a paid position (if your school’s budget can afford it), or it can be a voluntary part of a staff position or an interested caregiver. Whoever it is, the Garden Coordinator plays a key role in successful school gardens. This is the person who either recruits volunteers or arranges for garden preparation, plant, soil and seed delivery, planting days, maintenance schedule, and harvest. 

The characteristics most critical for this position are that the person be well-organized, friendly, willing to get dirty, and work hard. Sound like a tough role to fill? That actually depends on your school and your situation. Remember our maxim – start small and only grow as need demands. It is far better to have a small garden that is well used and starts building enthusiasm in the classroom than to have an overly ambitious project that exhausts your support team.  Be sure to encourage conversations with your school’s landscape crew. 

The Summer Team

As you work to establish your school’s new garden, don’t forget to ask for help before school lets out for the summer. Ask families to each sign up for a week of garden duty during the summer. Most weeks, they will need to visit the garden once to check if anything has been disturbed in the garden by animal or man, if the irrigation is working properly, and to harvest any produce that may have come in. If your garden is hand irrigated, families will need to stop by more frequently. Many families look forward to their garden week.  Most do it in the early morning and enjoy their time together working with the plants. As the temperature dictates, watering in the morning and evening may be necessary.

Pesticide Education

What is a Pesticide? A pesticide is a substance used to control unwanted plants, insect pests, rodents, or plant diseases. Pesticides include herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, and fungicides. Of the pesticides, we believe insecticides cause the greatest challenge to pollinators. However, using proper application practices when applying any pesticide is very important in keeping people safe, too!

Children and Pesticides   Children are disproportionally affected by exposure to pesticides due to their rapid metabolism rate and high hand-to-mouth contact. Children often play in and around areas with pests and treated with pesticides, such as playgrounds and gardens.   Integrated Pest Management  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a collection of pest control practices that uses a suite of tools and reduces dependence on pesticides. IPM principles and practices can be applied both inside school buildings and throughout school grounds. IPM includes regular monitoring for early pest detection, taking action against pests only when necessary, choosing the most effective option with the least amount of risk, and applying biological principles to create lasting solutions.

IPM in School Gardens  Using the IPM guiding principles of knowledge, monitoring, least-toxic options, and continuous improvement, schools often save money and improve health by employing a few of the example IPM solutions below to keep pollinators and people safe:

  • Where possible, avoid pest problems in the first place by burying infested plant residues, removing pest habitat, and planting disease and pest-resistant plant varieties.
  • Carefully diagnose your pest problem, and, before you apply a pesticide, make sure the pest population has reached a level where control is necessary.
  • Carefully evaluate your pest control options, and use a combination of pest control techniques if appropriate – these may include beneficial insects, manual removal, traps, a pesticide, etc.
  • Plant native flowering plant species to support pollinators, choosing species that are naturally resistant to insect pests.
  • Many native pollinators such as bumble bees live in natural areas and also play an essential role in pollination. Be especially careful when trying to control pests in or near these areas. All butterflies start life as caterpillars, feeding on plants. Learn what type of insect is eating your plants before you inadvertently kill butterflies and other beautiful and beneficial insects.

While the steps above can reduce student and staff exposure to toxic agents, the best way to ensure that the school grounds are healthy is through the IPM Start Certification process.

IPM Star Certification for Schools IPM improves pest management results and reduces liability and risks from both pests and pesticides. IPM STAR certification is a voluntary process that establishes your school’s commitment to health and safety.

By working towards and achieving IPM Certification, your school will:

  • Establish a formal IPM program 
  • Receive feedback from an IPM professional; 
  • Build a professional image and create goodwill; and
  • Create long-term, sustainable focus on pest and pesticide risk reduction, ensuring that your school continues to improve.

For more information about pesticide safety, visit the IPM Star Program website (http://www.ipminstitute.org/ipmstar.htm

Bee Sting Information How to Avoid Getting Stung

  • Avoid wearing brightly colored or patterned clothing
  • Avoid walking barefoot
  • Avoid perfume or cologne when heading to a heavy bee area
  • Avoid sudden movements
  • Avoid leaving food goods, especially sweets, exposed

If You Get Stung  Most allergic reactions to bee stings include pain, and red swelling around the sting. Other common reactions include hives, nausea, dizziness, and a tight feeling in the throat. If these symptoms occur, the person needs medical attention immediately.

Resources

Partners

About Helen Ficalora
Helen Ficalora's focus on technique sets her apart from other contemporary designers. Her jewelry is more than adornment; it brings to life Ficalora's philosophy of harmony with the environment and her admiration of nature. Since the launch of her line, her jewelry has been featured in top national fashion magazines such as Lucky, Harper's Bazaar and In Style.  For more information visit www.helenficalora.com 

About Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees has been offering distinctive earth-friendly, natural personal care products for 25 years. From a beekeeper’s backyard in Maine to the leading edge of natural, Burt’s Bees knows natural body care solutions from head-to-toe.  The company creates products for total skin health that keep The Greater Good™ top of mind.  For more information visit www.burtsbees.com.

About Pollinator Partnership
The Pollinator Partnership (P2) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization works to protect the health of managed and native pollinating animals vital to our North American ecosystems and agriculture. P2 is the the largest organization that works to protect and perserve pollinator conservation.

Thanks to our generous Backers through P2’s first ever Kickstarter campaign, we surpassed our goal of raising $15K to educated students with our BeeSmart™ School Garden Kits.

Laurie Adams
Charles Adams
Chase Adams
Will Adams
Paula Alexander
Alleman Studios
Carol Boyd
Sunny Boyd
Rob Brown
Stephen Buchmann
Emily Buckles
Christine Bucklin
Sharon Byrne
Benjamin Chen
Diana Cox-Foster
Melisande Echanique
Sarah Ford
Shivani Ganguly
Miranda Gardiner
Sylvia Hacker
Audrey Hall
Pauline M. Hazard
Monna Hess
Nadia Lara Hussein
David Inouye
Jenna Keys
Rainee Kaz
Kid Power Cares Inc.
Fritha Knudsen
Carol Kwong
Lindsay Kwong
Christopher Lang
Cynthia Hunter Lang
Renay Lang
Roger Lang
Danny Liang
Robert MacKimmie
Victoria MacPhail
Grace Van Vleck Markarian
Susan and Frank Mars
Laurie May
Patina Mendez
Jean Merritt
Mark Michaud
Rich Mixsell
Mariann Offtermatt
Alexa Ogno
Kara Ohlinger
Lachlan Ong
Steve Otto
Pixelberry Studios
Mary Byrne Rager
Sarah Red-Laird
Stephanie Reinhardt
Lisa Roberts
Martin Rosen
Scott Saul
Mary Byrne Schwegler
Jane & Bob Scribner
Sleeperwaking
Sunny Smith
Square Feet Farm
John Taylor 
Halle Tecco
Carla Thomas
Jennifer Tsang
Dr. and Mrs. Wen-Ghih Tsang
Carey Turnbull
Joellen Werne
Elaine Wang
Chrystal A. Ward
David Wardrop
Vicki Wojcik
Andrew Wu

Educators

The Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit is a great tool to teach your students about the importance of pollinators and how they are connected to our food and environment!

For Educators Using the Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit

  • Upload Your Pre- and Post – Assessment Results Here Tally the total number of correct and incorrect questions answered on the BeeSmart™ School Garden Kit pre-assessment.  We will ask that you do this again at the end of the Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit curriculum with the post-assessment.  We will use this data to assess the effectiveness of the Kit on teaching your students about pollinators. Once you inputted both your students’ pre- and post-assessment answers, you can be eligible to receive a gift from our partner, Burt’s Bees, upon completing the pollinator curriculum.
  • Share Your Pollinator Stories and Photographs from your Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit Experience with SGK@pollinator.org

Additional Useful Resources

Give

Give or Get a Kit

Kit Contents

Refill Your Kit

Give or Get a Kit

Binder Curriculum: By donating $150 to the Pollinator Partnership you, or a designated school, will receive 1 school garden kit with color printed curriculum. $50 of the $150 is tax-deductible as a donation to our work as a 501 (c)(3) non profit. It is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

Digital Curriculum: By donating $60 to the Pollinator Partnership you, or a designated school, will receive 1 school garden kit with digital curriculum. $20 of the $60 is tax-deductible as a donation to our work as a 501 (c)(3) non profit. It is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. 

Where do you want your Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit shipped? *

* SHIPPING IN THE U.S. ONLY

My billing address (if selected, only provide your name and email address below)
Ship to another address (if selected, provide mailing address below)
Your Name:
Your Email Address:
Kit Recipient Name (optional):
Kit Recipient School Name if Applicable (optional):
Kit Recipient Address (optional):
Kit Recipient City (optional):
Kit Recipient State (optional):
Kit Recipient Zipcode (optional):
Kit Recipient Country- must be in the USA(optional):
Note to Kit Recipient (optional)

The Bee SmartSchool Garden Kit Includes:

  • Pre- and post-tests
  • 10 lesson plans with accompanying reproducible worksheets
  • Materials for lesson plan activities
  • Reproducible handouts
  • New bee test tube
  • Access to additional Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit materials here. For a specific list of materials, click here.
    Kit contents are subject to change based on current curriculum and available materials.

The kit with digital curriculum includes everything above except for the printed curriculum. Instead you will receive the lesson plans on a USB drive.

Refill your Kit:

The bees and the Pollinator Partnership team greatly appreciate your efforts to foster students through this exciting discovery process.  In order to continue exposing students to pollinator-related topics in a hands-on manner, you will need to supplement your existing Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit curriculum with refill materials.  Although the curriculum is copyrighted, do not hesitate to share it with other educators at your institution.  Please have them order a refill kit to supplement the curriculum.  The refill contents include:  

  • 3 glitter jars
  • 100 pipe-cleaners
  • 1 Bee Tube Nest
  • 30 small paper cups
  • 1 educator’s dissection seed
  • 30 peat pods
  • 30 cucumber seeds
  • 30 wooden plant makers
  • 15 milkweed seeds specific to your ecoregion
  • 30 prairie coneflower seeds
  • 30 purple coneflower seeds
  • 3 cotton swabs
  • Access to the Bee Smart™ School Garden Kit online component

Order a refill for your kit by donation of $50 below: