Bee in Class

Time for Class -since it’s Tuesday Morning !

Today’s Science class * Honey Bee’s

What is a Bee?

Bees, members of the Apidae family, are flying insects that collect nectar and pollen. There are many different types of bees, possibly 20 000 species, and there are many differences between them. Some make honey and some don’t. Some can sting, while others can’t.

Honey Bee Lesson Plan

The Honey Bee’s Home

Have the students discuss why bees use six-sided cells, getting them to understand that other cell shapes lead to wasted space between the cells. Explain that although three-sided and four-sided cells fit together without space between, they have lots of corner space inside that would be wasted with a round larva.

Have the students construct different polygons, such as triangles, squares, pentagons and octagons, as well as some circles.

More advanced students can investigate which polygons will fit together most efficiently, without space between them.

What do Bee’s Eat?

Children are most likely to encounter honey bees that are feeding at flowers or foraging. Bees may fly long distances (up to six miles) in search of food and may be quite far from home when they are seen in your yard or neighborhood.

Honey bees have lots of little hairs on their body. Even their eyes have hairs. Pollen sticks to the hairs while the bees are visiting the flowers. A furry little bee wiggling around inside the flower picks up a lot of pollen. After getting pollen on their body hairs, the bees move it to a special area on their hind legs called pollen baskets . Foraging bees returning to the hive often have bright yellow or greenish balls of pollen hanging from these pollen baskets.

Worker bees gather both pollen and nectar from flowers to feed to the larvae and other members of the colony. Nectar is the sweet fluid produced by flowers to attract bees and other insects, birds and mammals. Worker bees drink the nectar and store it in a pouch-like structure called the crop. They fly back to the hive and regurgitate the nectar to other “house bees.” The house bees mix the nectar with enzymes and deposit it into a cell where it remains exposed to air for a time to allow some of the water to evaporate. The bees help the process along by fanning the open cells with their wings. The cell containing the resulting honey is later capped with beeswax and kept for future use.

Honey Bee Dance !

Help students to envision the honey bees’ environment and begin to think about how animals communicate by reading aloud the passage below:

In a faraway field, on a warm summer afternoon, a solitary ant discovers a tasty morsel of food on the ground. Within minutes the area is covered with worker ants busily snatching away particles of food to be returned to their colony. Chemical signals laid upon the ground by the first worker were detected through the other ants’ antennae and communicated exactly where the food could be found. On this same summer day, a honey bee discovers a rich source of nectar in a new bloom of wild flowers. Soon, these flowers are buzzing with activity as other workers from the same hive arrive to harvest the food. Like the ants, the honey bees must communicate the location to their hive mates. But, how do they communicate the precise spot of a distant bloom of flowers when they must travel there by wing?

Explain that all animals have a means of exchanging information with one another. Some use visual signals, such as body movements or facial expressions, to convey meaning. For example, a gorilla beats its chest to intimidate others and to assert authority. Other animals rely on sounds to communicate. Birds sing,coyotes yip, and dolphins make sounds in the air-filled sacs connected to their blow holes.

But what of the foraging honey bee? How does it recruit workers to harvest nectar-rich wildflowers far from the hive?

Typically, students assume that it is only the bees’ buzzing that conveys the location of the nectar source to the other bees, so they are surprised to learn that honey bees also “dance” to communicate this information to their hive mates.

Explain that students, too, can master the honey bees’ dance and communicate information with their hive mates (classmates). But first they must create the honeybees’ environment.

Library Book : Honey bees are among the most remarkable creatures on earth! They are regularly seen scouring the blossoms of flowers in the spring and summer months. And yet, ask most adults how honey bees produce honey and the answers will be as varied as the flowers. The fact is, each honey bee lives in a very structured and organized home, called a colony. There is nothing random about a beehive. Every bee has a specific assignment to further the work of the hive to produce the honey we all love. This story, with its award winning illustrations by internationally recognized Italian illustrator Yuribelle, takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the hive and explores the highly organized life of a honey bee. Readers from 1 to 100 will be amazed at the fun, and yet factual, illustrations. Additionally, each page provides simple yet entertaining and engaging insight into the life of the honey bee. Adult readers will find additional factual information on each page to provide further insight. 


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