Your kids will love this honey bees unit study and lapbook.
Whether you want to learn about how honey bees are fascinating master pollinators, learn about the interesting social activities in the hive, learn about beeswax, or know what is honey, these honey bee activities and resources will be helpful.
Honey Bees Unit Study
Look at these honey bee resources:
Bees, wasps, and ants are part of one of the large group of insects, the order Hymenoptera mean “membrane-winged.” It comes from the Greek words hymen (membrane) and pteron (wing.)
Honey Bee Life Cycles
First, dive into learning about the life cycle of the honey bee. After mating, the queen’s ovaries expand. She is fed nutrient-rich food from the worker bees. Within three or four days she begins laying eggs.
By day 3 or 4 eggs hatch. Workers begin feeding larvae. By day 8/9 workers seal cell with wax. The larvae transforms into pupa and from days 16 to 24 queen, workers and drone emerges.
Honey Bees Anatomy
Next, learn about honey bees anatomy.
Although each bee in the hive is formed a bit differently because of their occupation, the worker bee has one of the most fascinating jobs.
Chemistry and Science of Honey
In addition learning about the chemistry and science of honey is a fascinating topic. Sure, it’s been said honey is bee puke so you’re kids will love knowing that.
Honey bees collect the sweet nectar from various flowers with their straw like tongues. Then the nectar mixes with enzymes in their stomach and is taken back to the beehive.
The bees fan the cells full of nectar which draws the moisture out and thickening the nectar to make honey.
There are many different types of honey. The color and flavor is determined by the nectar.
Honey Bees Pollination
However, the true worth of honey bees is their contribution to the environment through pollination.
Plants don’t just rely on bees, but need other pollinators like butterflies, hummingbirds, bats, and moths.
For fertilization to occur, the pollen must get from the anther to the stigma. Once on the stigma, the pollen grain sends a pollen tube down the style and to the ovary where the pollen’s genetic material combines with the egg’s genetic material.
What Happens Inside a Hive
A cloud of bees forming a swarm is spectacular sight. Swarming is the natural means for how new colonies are formed. Beekeepers try to control swarming since it disrupts the hive. When the colony gets to a certain size, the current queen leaves with thousands of workers and creates a new nest elsewhere.
Language Art Ideas for Studying Honey Bees
Too, some of our sayings or idioms comes from bees. How fun. Your student can write some of them down and learn their meaning.
Look at a few expressions or idioms we get from bees.
- queen bee – Queen bee refers to a dominant female.
- busy as a bee – Busy as a bee means we’re working hard.
- bees knees – The bees knees means something or someone who is admired or great and all things are sweet and good.
- bee in your bonnet – You wouldn’t want a bee trapped in your hat. So bee in your bonnet would mean something or someone that is aggravating you.
- the birds and the bees – This is a gracious way of saying you’re going to be talking about how babies are made or sex.
- spelling or quilting bee – We use it today to mean children who come together to compete in spelling, but it’s been thought that it derived from the social interaction in a beehive. Hence, folks gather for social bees of different kinds whether it’s sewing or quilting.
Vocabulary words for a honey bee unit study.
- pollen – powder-like material produced by the anthers of flowering plants
- apiarist – Beekeeper.
- apiary – A bee yard.
- hive – The structure in which bees live and are kept.
- honeycomb – A sheet of hexagonal wax cells made by honey bees to store honey, pollen, and brood.
- drone – The male honey bee.
- swarming – The natural process of how new colonies are formed.
- worker bee – A female bee. The majority of the honey bees are worker bees. They do all the work in the colony except for laying fertile eggs.
- pollinator – an animal that moves pollen from the anther to the stigma of a plant
- colony – The colony is the living unit of tens of thousands of workers, drones, and a queen.
- brood – Eggs, larvae, and pupae.
- cell – the hexagonal comb built by honeybees.
- royal jelly – It is a honey bee secretion that is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as adult queens.
- virgin queen – A queen bee who has not mated.
- scout bees – Bees who look for new nesting areas in preparation for a swarm and are normally familiar with the area.
Hear a Librivox recording of The Children’s Life of the Bee by Maurice Maeterlinck.
The Behavior of the Honey Bee in Pollen Collection by Dana Brackenridge Casteel
Honey Bee Teachers Guides & Activity Guides
Finally, you’ll love a roundup of some fantastic honey bee teaching guides.
Honey Bee Lapbook
You can purchase my honey bee lapbook below, but look at how I created it.
First, the resource I used is The Beekeeper’s Bible.
I used this because it’s the book I had. It was very thorough in explaining about honey bees. This lapbook is focused on honey bees, and not so much beekeeping.
Awesome features of my lapbooks:
- You are paying for the printables, the lapbook.
- My lapbooks are created for multiple ages and geared toward older children unless I specifically state that it’ is’ for a certain age.
- Most of the minibooks have facts which accompany the minibook and a lot of the minibook are offered two ways. One way where your child uses the facts provided and another way where your child can add his own research and not use the inside pages.
- You do not need to use The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses. It’s the book I had and the one we liked.
- You can use any reference materials, books, or online resources to complete the lapbook.
- I don’t provide links in the lapbooks for filling out the information. This keeps my prices low for my products, but I do try to provide free links on my site as I can.
- Because I do use a combination of cursive or script and print, I aim my lapbooks toward upper elementary up to high school.
- Another way which I aim my lapbooks toward older children is that I avoid using baby-ish or goofy looking clip art. I spend many hours culling through images and purchasing ones that are correct and highest quality.
- Because I have been a working homeschool mom for more of my journey than not, I need flexibility for using lapbooks. Proving a few facts from the main resource I use is one way I have of saving you time and giving you flexibility in how to use the minibooks.
- Too, some of your kids may be older and you want them to do more research and some of your kids may be reluctant writers so you may want to mix and match pre-filled minibooks with blank minibooks. Flexibility is the key to my lapbooks.
Other nature unit studies you’ll love.
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Hugs and love ya,