Curriculum Resources

UnderConstruction

This page is under development! We are working to map bee topics to the Common Core and NGSS. If you have a resource or lesson plan idea we could feature, then please contact us and share!

 

 

Math

  • Practice calculating volumes, areas, and perimeters of geometric shapes to determine why bees use hexagons to build their honeycomb. What geometric shapes would give them the most storage space? Which would use the least amount of wax to build? Which tessellate? What is the ideal honeycomb shape? Develop equations and expressions to prove your answers. (Use basic math, algebra, and/or trigonometry.)Smarty_Pants_Bee3_jpg_opt830x1282o0,0s830x1282
  • Learn about the use of geometric angles in the worker bee’s Waggle Dance
  • Find the Fibonacci sequence in bee genetics

 

Biology

  • Examine an observation hive and draw a bee. Record how many legs they have, how many antennae they have, how many segments their body has (older kids), what colors they are, how long they are, what they are doing

  • Learn about pollination and how bees help plants reproduce while collecting pollen and nectar for food. Plant a bee oasis of flowers (in a cup/can or garden in the community).
  • Learn about the honey bee colony as a superorganism
  • Learn about the role of bee salivary enzymes in making honeyspelling_bee
  • Identify what biomolecules are in honey and pollen. What makes them such healthy bee nutrients?
  • Test the antimicrobial properties of honey and propolis
  • Learn about bee genetics via sexual reproduction (for female offspring- “workers” and “queens”) and asexual parthenogenesis (for male offspring- “drones”). Find the Fibonacci sequence in bee genetics!
  • Learn about bee illnesses: symbiotic relationships with pathogenic tracheal and varroa mites, as well as bacterial and viral diseases. Learn about exponential growth to explain why they harm colonies so quickly. Learn about how they are linked to the decline of bee populations.
  • Find out how monoculture and pesticide use is linked to the decline of bee populations.
  • Learn about another species of bee (there’s ~30,000 of them!)
  • Learn about the symbiotic relationship between orchid bees and fragrant orchid flowers

 

ChemistryMagnifying-Glass-Bee

  • Create different types of liquid and solid feed. Record what the bees prefer or avoid.

  • Expose bees to different chemicals and pheromones and document any behavioral changes, such as waggle dancing, aggressive interactions (behind glass!), clustering, or perhaps something entirely new!
  • Use honey in a density column. What liquids and objects are less dense than honey? More dense?

 

Physics

  • Learn about the role of magnetism and possibly quantum mechanics in bee navigation
  • Learn about how bees vibrate their wing muscles and use thermodynamics to keep their hive warm in the winter
  • Use red, white, and “black” (safe near-UV) light on an observation hive to see how bees act in their natural habitat (honey bees cannot see red, but they can see UV!)
  • Experiment with an observation hive by changing basic variables such as temperature, light, noise, or vibration, and then observe and record bee behavioral changes.

 

Historyreading_bee

  • Learn about the history of honey harvesting and beekeeping from hunter-gatherer times up through the modern age. How did the agricultural revolution affect beekeeping? How did ancient cultures (Egyption, central american, etc.) keep bees?

 

Art

  • fill in a honeycomb outline with something you learned or a question you still have about bees in each cell (e.g. a bee flying, honey, flowers, wagging, a hive, a queen crown, etc.). http://insectzoo.msstate.edu/Images/smhoneycomb.gif

  • Learn about Escher and the tessellations in his artwork.
  • Explore the use of bee products in art, such as encaustic painting.Smarty_Pants_Bee6
  • Draw and trace on a transparent, plastic sheet over observation hive glass.

 

Music

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QV1RGMLUKE&noredirect=1 Talk about how bees make many trips per day and fly up to 4 miles per trip and visit up to 100 flowers each time to collect nectar to make honey to eat. Watch/Listen to Flight of the Bumblebee and:

    • Describe how the song makes you feel? (Does it make you want to slow down or speed up? e.g. calm, sleepy, energetic, crazy, curious, thoughtful, like dancing, like running?)

    • Describe how the musicians/composer make the song feel energetic. (Why does it make you feel like running around? tempo, instruments used, similar sharp notes)

    • Draw a picture of bees visiting flower

    • Write about a time you felt like a busy bee

    • Compose your own flight song

       

Kinesthetic Activities/Games

 Flight of the Bumblebee Clean-up/Hive Game:

  • Objective: Feel what it’s like to be a bee! Listen to and discuss the song as suggested above and:
  • use it as background music to quickly clean up after a craft, transition to a new activity, or play a game:

        1. Ask half of the class to stand in a circle facing into the center. This group will be the hive. The remaining students are the bees.

        2. When the music starts, the bees run in and out of the hive.

        3. When the music stops the hive members take the hands of the other hive members trapping bees inside the hive. The trapped bees now become members of the hive.

        4. Repeat the process until only one bee remains and is the winner.

 

Pollination Tag

  • Objective: To associate bees with pollination and fruit production in plants. And burn off some energy. Good for <10yrs old or a group that just wants to run around!

 

  • Easy version (<6 yrs old):
  1. Explain how when bees visit many flowers, they share pollen among them (pollinates them) and fruit flowers to turn into fruit. Have them raise a hand if they like fruit and share what kinds. Or just brainstorm types of fruits.

  2. On a piece of paper, draw a big flower on one side and a fruit on the other.

  3. Designate a few kids to be worker bees. Instead of their flower/fruit paper, they get a picture of a bee to carry or wear pipecleaner antennae.

  4. On the count of “1, 2, 3, BUZZ!” the worker bees run around and try to tag a flower. When a flower gets tagged, they turn into a piece of fruit by flipping over their piece of paper and sitting down.

  5. If a sitting fruit gets tagged by a friend it blooms back into a flower.

  6. Round ends after 5 min, when everyone is a fruit, or whenever the kids want to switch roles.

 

  • More complex version directions (7-10 yrs old):
  1. Explain how when bees visit many flowers, they share pollen among them (pollinates them) and fruit flowers to turn into fruit. Have them raise a hand if they like fruit and share what kinds. Or just brainstorm types of fruits.

  2. On a piece of paper, draw a big flower on one side and a fruit on the other. Attach a big loop of tape to the center of the flower and a “pollen grain” cotton ball or pompom to the tape.

  3. Designate 1 or 2 kids to be worker bees. They are “it”.

  4. On the count of “1, 2, 3, BUZZ!” the worker bees run around and try to tag a flower. The first time a flower is tagged, the worker bee takes its pollen. The second time a flower is tagged, the worker bee gives it back a piece of pollen (“pollinates it”) and the flower turns into fruit by flipping over their piece of paper and sitting down.

  5. If a sitting fruit gets tagged by a friend it blooms back into a flower.

  6. Round ends after 5 min, when everyone is a fruit, or whenever the kids want to switch roles.

 

Waggle Dance Simon Says

  • Objective: To demonstrate how bees use a movement called the Waggle Dance to communicate and signal that they’re about to give important directions.
  1. Demonstrate a full waggle dance and explain when bees use it. Have everyone play around practicing just the waggle part (shimmy/butt shake)!

  2. Pick a volunteer to be the worker on the “dance floor”.

  3. The dance floor worker stands facing her followers and gives them directions for how to move. The catch is they should only follow the directions if she does a “waggle” first. For young kids, keep it simple and have the worker’s movement mirror the followers (e.g. when she steps forward, they step forward). For older kids make it harder:

    • right arm out= take a step right

    • left arm out= take a step left

    • touch head= jump

    • touch toes= squat

 

  • Colony Teamwork Game
  • Objective: To learn about bees as a superorganism (older kids) and/or members of a colony. Learn about honey bee democracy, castes, and/or worker roles. Play any game requiring cooperation:
  • Never Ending Story- each person in a circle adds a couple sentences to a story

  • physical challenges- e.g. Everyone stand on a low balance beam/piece of wood and have to reverse their standing order without falling off.

  • http://www.ultimatecampresource.com/site/camp-activities/cooperative-games.page-1.html

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Disclaimer
The information provided in this Instruction Manual is provided solely for the user’s benefit, so users should read the Instruction Manual fully and carefully before building an observation hive and follow the instructions provided in their entirety, as failure to follow the instructions provided could result in injury to you or damage to your property. Children should always have adult supervision when interacting with an observation hive. This Instruction Manual is provided “AS IS,” without representations or warranties of any kind. Every effort has been made to make sure that that the information provided in this Instruction Manual is accurate and up to date, and Classroom Hives Inc. is not liable for any damages, direct or indirect, arising from the user’s use or misuse of this Instruction Manual or the information provided therein.”

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