Grace, of New Brunswick, is a 10-year-old entrepreneur who created a pollinator-friendly initiative to get kids across Canada into gardening! We interviewed Grace on how she learnt about pollinators and why they are so special to her. Grace and her mom, Cheryl, started Bumble Kids in 2019, a gardening kit for kids that includes native sunflowers.
At such a young age it’s incredible that you are so devoted to helping bees. What was it that first got you so interested in protecting pollinators?
In grade 4, I was asked to do an entrepreneur project about whatever I wanted. I decided to create sunflower kits to help our pollinators.
Grace and mom Cheryl, created Bumble Kid Kits to get kids into gardening and help pollinators.
My mom and I planted flowers and we talked about bees and pollinators she told me people were concerned that they weren’t getting enough food. We watched a few videos and found Bee City’s website. It was sad to learn about what is happening to bee colonies, but I liked that my flowers could help.
When you tell your friends at school what you do at Bumble Kids, such as sending ‘Sunflower Starter Kits’ all over Canada for pollinators, how do they react?
They think it’s cool and want to help too. Lots of kids like planting the seeds and a few friends want to help me make the kits for others.
How does it make you feel when you see birds, bees, butterflies and other insects enjoying your garden at home?
It makes me feel happy because they’re getting their breakfast, lunch or dinner and all we had to do was plant flowers. Mom likes to let the dandelions grow in the spring. She says that they are the bees first meal when they wake up. Not everyone likes seeing them on lawns, but I’m happy they’re getting some food.
What’s the most important part about protecting Bees in your opinion?
Bees and other pollinators help our flowers grow, but they also help our fruit grow too. If we help protect them, they will help us. Without them, food would be more expensive or even worse, some foods like fruit may be harder to get.
When you are older, what job do you want to do? Do you think it will be related to helping bees or maybe other animals?
I want to be a teacher because it would be a good way to help kids like me learn about what’s happening in the world around them. I think most kids care about animals, our planet and the environment. It would be fun to help them learn more and even start their own projects that could help make lives better for us and our environment.
I know that your mom is so supportive of your commitment to pollinators through Bumble Kids, was it so easy to convince other members of your family, or even your friends, To help out?
I’m lucky. I have a lot of help and support from my family. My older sister helps with the Bumble Kits too. I have some great friends who love animals. My best friend Chloe wants to be a veterinarian… she loves all animals and isn’t afraid to pick up any insect! She’s a lot of fun and we have a lot in common. She’s looking forward to helping Bumble Kids in the Spring.
Some children might be a little nervous or shy about getting their hands dirty with soil or maybe they are even scared of bees, what would you say to them to help them overcome their fears?
It’s fun to plant flowers. You can get gardening gloves in so many colours and it’s fun to use the spade to dig up the earth. We make flower beds with new soil too. We get it from the gardening store. It’s fluffy and feels clean. Getting a little dirty is fun and it’s good exercise too. I used to be afraid of bees, but then I noticed they really don’t even know I’m watching them and Bumblebees are very cute. They’re a little chubby and furry, while honeybees are smaller and thinner (I guess that’s because they get a lot of exercise working to get honey for the colony).
Getting stuck in.
Bees will only sting you if they were scared. So if you calmly walk away and just watch them working you’ll see how sweet and pretty they really are.
Bumble Kids is already a HUGE success that’s no doubt helped soo many bees already all over Canada. What does the future hold for Bumble Kids going into 2020?
I would like more schools to teach kids about our pollinators and how gardens and planting flowers can help. It would be fun for schools to have their own gardens. Some schools have vegetable gardens while other schools have flowers. My school plants marigolds in the spring, but it would be fun to have more projects that would teach kids about our climate and protecting our environment. We are talking to organizations and teachers who can help create classroom tools that can help bring more focus to our pollinators and make learning about our environment fun!
Visit Grace’s website and get your Bumble Kid Sunflower Kits today: https://www.bumblekids.ca/
About the Author:
Caitlin Brant joined Bee City Canada in 2019 as Program Director. Caitlin’s expertise lies in science education and awareness, including youth engagement. She graduated with a Master’s of Science in Conservation Biology from the University of Kent in 2018.