Native bees come in three sizes. Small, very small and extremely small.
Last summer I was with my friend Gretchen at their community garden in North East Valley, Dunedin. Little black native bees were everywhere! I followed them as the sucked on flax petals (they were after nectar not pollen), and clustered around cabbage tree flowers.
Flighty and fly very fast, seldom settling on one flower for long.
As I observed our short-tongued native bees are generally better at pollinating native flowers, while the introduced honeybees and bumblebees were busy in other parts of the garden, pollinating the crop flowers.
The native bee is an important pollinator in Flight of Pollen, picking up and dropping off a load of three. In the game loads range from one (hoverfly) to eight (bat).
Aotearoa / New Zealand has 28 species of native bees. Most native bees are solitary. At the end of summer they dig holes in the ground, and there they lay a single egg in each cell. These eggs hatch in spring and feed on the nectar and pollen left for them, before emerging.
Quotes from Jay Iwasaki, a PhD student in the Departments of Botany and Zoology at the University of Otago.
In ‘New Zealand’s Smallest Bees’, Our Changing World, by Alison Ballance
Taupo District Library. SATURDAY Oct 28, 1-3.30pm.
If you’re in the area, please come play both my New Zealand environmental board games with me.
This is part of the Playing in Paradise exhibition in the Niven Room, at the Taupo Musuem, running Saturday 27 October – Monday 4 December. On display are artworks from Jane Penton, Laura Sue Bailey, Kanai Cowell and some of my early paper works and bird images.
Nearly five years ago Kapanui School students in Matt Wynne’s class helped make the how-to-play video for Cloak of Protection. In the meantime a strong bond has been formed between myself and Wellington Enviroschools.
So when Flight of Pollen was nearly finished I, along with the local Enviroschools facilitator Amanda Dobson, returned to Matt Wynne’s class to make another video.
Making a video was different this time because the game was still in development. Class sessions were held, and students practiced the game. But watching the video is also watching seven students learn and play. It is to observe teams become more strategic as they move up each of the four levels.
The video was filmed and edited Paul Britten-Morby, Kaost Graphics. As he knew the students they were very relaxed about being filmed. And the ending has a surprise twist where, at their suggestion, a rule-change to the game is allowed.
Then Flight of Pollen was launched at the Mahara Gallery on Saturday 2nd September. Once again Matt’s Kapanui students were present, this time time to demonstrate and teach the game. Here also, the videos were played for the first time.
The plan is that students from this class, using Nga Manu as a base, will also teach the game to students at other schools. So carrying Flight of Pollen along.
As Emily Warner said, “This was a really fun game to play and I enjoyed collecting berries a lot. Can’t wait till another game is made!”
160 Wilton Rd,
Saturday 23 Sept 10am – 2pm.
View a sample Flight of Pollen game. It’s got their logo on the back – they’re giving it great support. Nga mihi nui.
Saturday 2 September. Mahara Gallery, Waikanae. 11am – 3pm. Entry free.
Teams of players will demonstrate and/or teach the game. And the how-to-play video, made by Kapanui School students, will have its first showing.
Pop in anytime, if you can.