Thursday, September 8, 2011

Mini Theme: Bees, Honey & Hives

 On my summer list was a "honeycomb" project I wanted to do just because. Maybe it's that there are so many bees out in the summer? Whatever the case, we got to the project this past week (I know, most of you are probably focused on school now, but really, this is not a seasonal project.) Before we started the project I wanted the boys to learn a little more about bees, so I checked out a DVD called "City of Bees" for them to watch. It was actually pretty fascinating.
 After watching the DVD I got out some peanut butter and honey (I prefer "spun" honey which I have yet to see in Utah, so I go with "creamy" honey, which in all reality is probably just about the same thing. When I can I have people bring me my favorite Sue Bee honey from Iowa.)
The boys picked the stuff in the bear because it is obviously more fun to put on a sandwich. I wanted to find some honeycomb for them to try, but I never found any, even at health food stores. So, we finished up our mini theme with the original project that inspired it all.
A cereal beehive. This is one of many great ideas I saw in one of the Mailbox Yearbooks. I don't remember which year it was, but they are all good. (There are links on the side to a few of them and check your library too!)
Supplies: Honeycomb shaped cereal, cardstock or cardboard, glue, yellow ink pad, and a black marker/pen.
Draw out a picture of a beehive on the paper.
Glue on the cereal pieces.
My son would leave little gaps sometimes and when he'd find a smaller piece to fill them with he said he was putting together a puzzle.
Once the beehive is filled, press thumb on yellow ink pad and then on the paper. These will be the bees, so you can have just one or dozens.
Use a marker or a pen to fill in stripes, wings, legs and stingers.
Ta-da! Done.
Just a few facts I was amazed by from the DVD:
Most bees are female. They do all the work. The male bees are called drones. They get pampered by the worker bees. They do not have stingers. Their only job is to mate with the females. Mating occurs in the sky, not at the hive. A queen will mate with up to 18(!) drones and will be able to lay eggs for 7 years. Once a drone has mated with the queen, he instantly dies. See? seriously fascinating stuff in bee world!
One more thing you might want to try, is if you can find somewhere to go and see a beehive. We saw these earlier in the summer at the city library. I guess they harvested the honey out of them this past weekend. (If we'd have known, I would have tried to get us there.)
This is just a short clip from Youtube of the video, City of Bees, that we watched. I am sure there are tons of other great books and videos about bees that you can choose from. (We have this Curious George DVD and one of the episodes is about a beekeeper.)


Elisabeth Hirsch said...

So fun and educational :0) I LOVE that kind of cereal!

Pat Hatt said...

Sure got yours bees wax worth out of that dvd..haha