The Honeybee and the Robber
"To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee." - Emily Dickinson
Bees have three body parts like other insects; however, bees also have four wings.
diagram of a bee
Science: Types of Bees
Nurse bees- Mixes pollen and honey to feed to older larva. She feeds young larva. She produces royal jelly.
Queen attendant- Cleans and feeds queen.
Packers-Stores pollen brought by field bees. They pound it down and press it into solid mass by butting it with their heads.
Builders- Have developed wax glands. They hang and wait for wax to ooze from glands to form honeycomb cells.
Trash man- Removes foreign material from honeycomb.
Ventilator-Only needed when combs are in danger of melting.
Control bees- They boss the queen and direct work out the colony.
Guard bees- Has sting glands full of venom ready for any intruders.
Scout- Seek out nectar sources.
Collectors- Gather nectar, pollen, and water for hive use.
Robbers- Take honey from weaker hives when needed.
Science: Pheromone (Sense
of Smell) And Bees
After you read The Honeybee and the Robber, ask your student, "How do you think the guard bee recognized the other bees that were coming and going from the hive? How do people recognize each other?" (Eyes). The bees recognize each other with a different sense (you may want to review or introduce the concept of the five senses). Bees recognize each other by using smells, called pheromones.
For a fun smelling activity, get some film canisters (photo labs will give you some for free). Make some scented cotton balls (use lemon juice, peppermint, pickle juice, vanilla, almond extract, etc.). You will need a pair of each scent (2 with lemon, 2 with vanilla, etc.). Set the containers our and let your child smell out the pairs. Reinforce that bees use their sense of smell to recognize things.
Science: Bees, Wasps, Hornets
Let your older student research honey bees, yellow jackets, hornets, and wasps. He could make a poster (or write a paper) comparing and contrasting each species.
Waggle dance: Bee Communication
Discuss the waggle dance that bees use to communicate-- when a bee finds a food source, he goes back to the hive and waggles and the other bees gather around so that they can know where the food source is to be found. Show an example of waggling (a wiggling motion). The bee communicates where it found the food by the directions it waggles (in reference to the sun). If the bee waggles up the hive, it it means the food source is north of the hive. If the bee waggles in a circle to the left, the food source is to the west of the hive , right in a circle means to the east and down means to the south.
If you wish, you can make this into a game. Get a flower or make a construction paper flower. This will be your "food source"-- let your bee (student) have a turn at hiding the flower. Then, let him do the waggle dance at the "hive" (whatever you determine to be the hive) to let you (or your other students) know where the food source is. You may want to make signs with cardinal directions and hang them in the room so your student knows which way to waggle! To direct you to the left, the bee will make a left circle, waggling as they circle. To direct you to the right, they will waggle in a circle to the right. Whoever finds the food source gets to be the next waggling bee.
Math: Lessons about hexagons and bee hives using Zome Blocks
Learn with Zome Blocks
Wonders of Nature Kit
Nicolai Andrejevich Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumble Bee. Very fun to listen to - one can almost see the bees in flight.
The Honey Bee
By: Gayle Howard (to the tune "Mary had a Little Lamb")
The honeybee goes, buzz, buzz, buzz
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz
The honeybee goes buzz, buzz, buzz
On a summer day…
It's taking pollen to the hive, to the hive, to the hive,
It's taking pollen to the hive,
Not so far away…
The bee makes honey that is sweet, that is sweet, that is sweet,
The bee makes honey that is sweet,
As sweet as sweet can be…
The bee keeps honey in the hive, in the hive, in the hive
The bee keeps honey in the hive,
And shares a bit with me!
Go Along Books:
The Bee Tree
The Life and Times of the Honeybee
The Honey Makers
When the Bees Fly Home
The Magic School Bus Gets Stuck in a Bee Hive
PBS Bee information
Order a Bee Skep (portable hive!)
Recipes with Honey!
Back to Eric Carle Main Page
The Very Busy
The Very Clumsy Click Beetle
The Grouchy Ladybug
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Very Lonely Firefly
The Very Quiet Cricket