Explore Oregon Bees is a bee-themed nutrition and garden environmental education activity book developed at Oregon State University by the Oregon Bee Project and Food Hero. The readability is 5th grade and up, but there are activities, recipes and images engaging to all ages. Objectives include 1) broadening readers knowledge of the role bees play in pollination to make healthy foods, 2) to increase their willingness to taste vegetables and fruits, and 3) empowering readers to know ways to help bees make healthy foods. Involving readers in exploring gardens in their community and cooking and taste testing recipes from the book are important additions to the book and virtual tools in meeting the project objectives.
The Explore Oregon Bees Virtual Toolkit was created in 2020, with many people learning from home. The Oregon Bee Project and Food Hero came together to create a toolkit which brings the Explore Oregon Bees book alive digitally.
Meet the Squash and Cuckoo Bees
At Food Hero, we are celebrating World Bee Day by releasing a series of kid-friendly bee videos, activities, and more that will explore the common types of bees in Oregon and how they help grow some of our favorite foods.
Our first video introduces the Squash and Cuckoo Bees. Thanks to a special process called pollination, Squash Bees have a close link to Indigenous Peoples and the squash plant. Join your tour guide, Buzz Bumble Bee, to discover more about pollination and why this process is so important to farmers who grow the food we eat.
Meet the Green Metallic and Long-Horned Bees
Did you know fruits all start as flowers? Do you know the difference between a fruit, a vegetable, and a seed? Whether we call them fruits, vegetables or seeds, the plant parts we eat are packed with different nutrients and we need bees to help them grow!
In our second video, you will meet the Green Metallic Sweat Bee and the Long-horned bee. We’ll follow them in their journey as they work to fertilize the flowers that produce the nutritious ingredients used in some of our favorite recipes.
Meet the Bumble and Honey Bees
Bees help pollinate many different crops that we eat, including types of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Bees also help pollinate crops that feed livestock, like cows and chickens, and provide us with dairy and protein foods.
In our third video, you will meet the Bumble Bee and Honey Bee. Find out which Oregon crops these bees help produce that can help us grow, play, learn, and stay healthy!
Meet the Mason, Leafcutter, and Alkali Bees
Did you know that for over 9,000 years, humans have been collecting wild bees’ nests? Eventually, they figured out how to raise wild bee species. Bees raised by humans are called managed bees.
In our fourth video, we will meet three managed bees that help farmers produce healthy foods we eat: the Mason, the Leafcutter, and the Alkali Bees.
As we finish up our tour of the bees in Oregon, I will also share what you can do to help bees.