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What do you think of when you hear the word, “bees”? Does it make you scared? Do you think of honey? Do you think of cute little animals or scary stings?
Bees tend to get mixed reactions from folks, but around our house we really like bees. While we do not currently have any beehives, we did keep beehives for several years. During that time I learned a lot about bees and came to appreciate them even more.
Did You Know…?
- An average hive can hold around 50,000 bees
- Almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading (non-grain) global crops depend on animal pollination.
- Foragers must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey.
- Honey Bees do a dance to tell other bees how to find food.
There is so much more to learn about bees. Even though we don’t always see them or think about them, they are so important in our daily lives. Today I wanted to share some resources that would make for a great family unit study on bees.
There are resources for young children all the way up through teens and adults. This could be a short summer study or even the basis for a full course. It could even be the beginnings a new hobby.
Research and Information
To get started I would suggest spending some time researching bees through some great websites or books. If you are working with younger children you could do this together or pick out the information you want to share with them. For older students, consider giving them the resources and allowing them to do their own research. They could write a paper, design a presentation, or learn the information and teach it to your younger children. There are many great resources but a few that we like are NC Beekeepers, The American Beekeeping Federation, and Planet Bee.
If you are looking for even more laid out lessons about bees, there are some great ones included in the SchoolhouseTeachers.com subscription. They have a great section on bees in the All About Animals Lessons.
If you have teens that want to actually learn to be beekeepers, these online courses offered through North Carolina State University are a great resource. You may also be able to find in-person courses through your local cooperative extension office.
Once you have some basic information it is time for some hands-on learning. There are so many different options with bees. If you have younger children, it could be as simple as making a bee craft. There are some great DIY craft options or you could buy a kit such as these fun Bee Sticker Crafts.
If you have older students that enjoy crafting, they might like this fun bee themed diamond painting kit.
In addition to crafts, we love to include art in our other studies. Nana over at You Are an Artist has an adorable lesson that includes honeybees on sunflowers. It would be a perfect tie-in to this study on bees.
Another great option for hands-on learning is building a bee habitat. You could do one of these wild bee houses of check out this book that turns into a beehive: Turn This Book Into a Beehive and Other Activities.
If you have older children that are very interested in bees they could visit with a beekeeper and possibly get a chance to help out with the hives.
You could also get hands-on by planting flowers and bushes that are good for bees in your yard. This is a great way to support the bees and hopefully get a chance to see them more frequently as they come to feed on the nectar from the flowers.
Honey can be a fun and tasty way to incorporate food into your study of bees! I highly recommend trying to find some fresh local honey, but even a bottle of store bought honey will work. You can eat some plain or find lots of recipes at this honey site.
Older children could even learn about the health benefits of raw honey.
There are so many books about bees! You can find fun fictional books, beautiful picture books, informational books, and even detailed beekeeping books. You could even start with Winnie the Pooh and talk about his honey jar!
I have shared a few good ones to get you started and I am sure your local library would be happy to help you find a great selection for whatever age group you are teaching.
- The Bees You See
- I am a Bee
- The Bee Tree
- National Geographic Bees
- Turn This Book Into a Beehive and Other Activities
- Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive
Bees are so much fun to learn about, so important to our food supply, and great for all ages. I hope you enjoy these resources. I would love to have you share your favorite bee books and resources in the comments!
Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure
When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.
Deals and Freebies
If you have not tried SchoolhouseTeachers.com, you don’t want to miss this Bumble Bee sale! It is a great way to try out some of the fun courses about Bees or find some great summer electives. You can even get started on your planning for next year!