Bees are complex and fascinating creatures that are vital for our survival. They pollinate our vegetable plants, fruit trees and grains. Every year, Apiarists, bring their honeybees to pollinate our grains and fodder crops on the farm. Beekeepers also know which plants and trees are flowering through the seasons and move their hives accordingly. Find out why bees are important.
Mini Bee Study
It is not necessary to read all the suggested material. Choose the source you have on hand, visit the library or use the internet links. How you use this information may depend on your learning philosophy and learning style. You can prepare for the nature walk in advance by gaining knowledge yourself and share it as you are asked or opportunities arise, or you can read the information together before starting out to observe bees.
Indoor Prep Work
- Read the Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass, pg 71-77.
- Discuss bees and their important work by discussing the pictures in The Book of Bees by Piotr Socha.
- Read Hummy and the Wax Castle by Elizabeth Ernst. This is a great ‘living book.’
- Watch the busy bee at SciShow Kids.
Explore outdoors for bees by locating flowering plants and trees. They should be busy buzzing, pollinating and collecting nectar. Observe them awhile. Can you see the honey baskets on their hind legs? Are they honeybees or native bees?
Sketch a bee in your nature journal and label its anatomy:
- 2 Compound eyes
- 3 Simple eyes or ocelli
- Prothorax and first pair of legs.
- Mesothorax: second pair of legs and first pair of wings.
- Metathorax: third pair of legs and second pair of wings.
- Leg: femur, tibia, tarsus and claws.
Or simply draw the bee in its habitat.
- Sketch and note observations using this Bee Notebook Page.
- Create a bee bath by using a pot plant saucer and some pebbles. This is a quick and simple activity we enjoyed during our Honeybee Week.
- Research which flowers you can plant in your garden to attract bees.
- Research and report why bee numbers are declining and how can they be helped.
- Start an Insect List
- Eat honey on toast.
- Find out why honey crystallizes in this experiment.
- Sing along to the Busy Bee Song.
If you’d like to dig deeper into the study of bees and include poems, picture studies, hymns and more activities in your nature study, consider the Australian Nature Study Guide | Volume One | Summer/Autumn.