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Newsflash: Friday 17 September 2010

The Bugman has left the hive!

He’s off to do important bug stuff.

A big thanks to all the schools who took part in the live blogging:

  • Remuera Intermediate School
  • Verran Primary School
  • Hurupaki Primary School
  • Tokomaru School
  • Avonhead School Inquiry class
  • Alexandra Primary School
  • Taradale Intermediate School
  • Taneatua School
  • Lake Rotoiti School

And a special thanks to Ruud for sharing so much about the amazing world of bees, bugs & birds!

What’s this about?

During Conservation Week 2010 the Bugman (Ruud Kleinpaste) held 3 live blogging sessions. Schools around the country got involved, asking all kinds of fantastic questions. You can read Ruud’s post, and the questions and answers below.

Students at Hurupaki Primary School blogging live with the Bugman.

Students at Hurupaki Primary School blogging live with the Bugman

Have you ever wondered what all those bugs, bees, flies and birds are doing in your garden?

Go out into the garden at home, in the school grounds or even in your local park or Botanical Garden and find a spot with many flowering plants; it could be Camellias or Manuka.

Go on! Just sit down for half an hour in the warm spring sun-light and count how many different species of pollinators visit those plants. Take a magnifying glass if you want to get up really close. Are they all insects? Or are there other groups of animals involved?

Just make a note of who turns up – if you can take a photograph of them, so that you can find their image in a book in the library or on the net.

A native bee collecting pollen.

A native bee collecting pollen

So what are they doing? Have you thought about exploring the world of pollination and honey? Try to get a handle on how much our economy relies on pollinators and their activities. For starters it may be worth-while to find info on the economic contribution of just honey bees; that’s reasonably well documented.

Look at the different honey types in our shops – how many involve native plants?

And once you’ve calculated the honey bee contribution, try guessing how much our native bees do in terms of forest survival and rejuvenation.

And then there are native pollinating flies and little beetles and moths at night and birds and geckoes and… Is your head spinning yet?

Watch this video to find out more about the amazing process of pollination and why it’s so important.

The Magical Land of Far Far Away

Now – while you are doing your investigations on pollination, have a look on the ground or higher up in the shrubs and trees and see if you can find any creepy crawlies that are doing the recycling in your neighbourhood.

We can learn a lot from nature and especially from bugs, invertebrates, insects and such creatures. They live in a no-waste society. Everything is used or recycled by some other creature – “waste” becomes a “resource” to other organisms.

We create a lot of waste – rubbish – trash… Call it what you like!

Some people say that we live in a throw-away society; we throw things away when we have finished with them.

A pile of typical househould waste.

A pile of typical househould waste

Let’s just do an exercise. Have a look at a map of the world and tell me: where exactly is that magical place “Away”? Can you point at it?

Away is really not away, don’t you think?

Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste

The topic for Wednesday:

Let’s explore what would happen to New Zealand and the World if we didn’t have all this wonderful biodiversity to keep the ecology ticking?

What would be the consequences of species going extinct?

Have you got any ideas about that?

Let’s stick to this topic today. If you’ve still got an unanswered question Ruud will try and get to it later.

The topic for Friday:

Hey guys!

We’ve had now two great blog sessions. One on the ecological services that Bugs and other creatures provide – stuff like pollination and recycling.

Then, last Wednesday we were thinking about what would happen if all the bugs or our biodiversity would disappear from the World.

Didn’t look too good, now, did it? I reckon it would spell disaster for all of us!

This Friday (from 11am till noon) we will have another go at blogging, but this time, I’d like to explore how we all can HELP our biodiversity be HEALTHY. So:

  • How can we make our world and it’s biodiversity a much better place?
  • How can we RESTORE our biodiversity, if a lot of it is lost?
  • What can we do in our neighbourhood to restore our animal and plant communities?

I reckon… that if we all work together, maybe as classes of school kids or as groups of cubs, brownies and scouts, we can make serious differences to habitats.

There are many websites you can consult on this; one that I am involved with is

Have a look and let’s talk about getting the tuis and bellbirds back into our backyards and the rare plants and lizards too… and what about wetas and brilliant beetles? Let’s invite them all back into our local gardens and parks.




Ruud (the Bugman) Kleinpaste thinks we’ve lost the operating manual for our Earth. Find out how you can blog live with the Bugman and see what we can do to turn the tide.

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