As part of our farm unit study for this semester we’ve been visiting all types of farms. We recently visited a bee farm! We learned all about bees, honey and products made with beeswax! During the week we pulled out various bee books, printables, games and activities for a mini-unit on bees.
Bees are such wonderful and helpful creatures. From pollinating flowers to making honey, we could not live without them. Go ahead and explore the world of bees with your child, preschool class, daycare or homeschool co-op. Use these bee ideas as a science unit, a unit to go along with Letter of the Week or a spring-themed week. I’ve included free bee printable coloring sheets and games I’ve created for my children and local co-op class plus other fun ideas.
Preschool Science: Learning About Bees
Learning about bees came at the perfect time for my family. I have one member who is not very fond of bees, so I figured learning more about them would help her have a healthy respect for these creatures as she learned about their importance in our ecosystem.
Honey Bee Farm Field Trip
Our Farm Field Trip group visited a large honey farm where we learned about bees from a bee keeper, tasted honey sticks, saw beeswax candles being made and even got to fill our own honey bottles.
This was a great field trip because we got to experience bees in a different way than we do in our back yard. The bee keeper was able to teach the students about bees, what to do when you are around them and why they are so important to have in our environment. He took a section of the hive and was able to show the students the honey comb, worker bees and the queen. He shared why he had to use the “smoker” while handling the bees (it throws off their communication.) And don’t worry— he was in a screened in tent with the bees while we watched from the outside. 🙂
Picking Up Pollen Bee Game
bouncy balls, ping pong balls or pom poms
several small bowls
Flowers have pollen and that is just what bees love to collect. Set out several “flowers” with pollen (bowls, trays etc. filled with balls or pom poms) around the room.
Give each child a bag. Have them step into the handle so it is on one leg and place the other handle on their arm. This represents the sacks on the back of a bee’s leg that holds the pollen . (If that’s too difficult for the child, let them put it on their arm). Have the children collect the pollen and bring back to the hive (select a place to be the hive like a big tub to place all the “pollen”)
Female bees have a structure on their legs that no other insects, including wasps, have: a pollen basket. The basket is made of rows of stiff hairs that arch to form a hollow space on the outside of the bees’ legs, usually her back legs. When a bee visits a flower, she combs grains of pollen into her baskets. Pollen from the flower also sticks to the bee’s hair. ~ San Diego Zoo
Here are a couple toddler/preschool bee-themed printables that I have created over the years:
Other Printable Bee Resources:
Books are a huge component to any unit study we do. Here are some of our favorite bee-themed books:
I hope this gives you some bee-themed unit study ideas! You might also be interested in checking out all the farm-related activities we have been doing. Be sure to read the first post in this series, Farm Unit Study.