Camp Week Two- Honey Bees!
We had SUCH a fun time learning about honey bees together at camp last week! We started the week by gathering everyone's prior knowledge around bees and questions about honey bees, and then read some wonderful honeybee pictures that helped us build on our understanding of how bees make honey. We followed a bee's journey as she found the perfect field of flowers, collected nectar, pollinating flowers as she went from the pollen stuck to her legs, and brought nectar back to her hive to begin the honey- making process. We learned that bees have two stomachs, one just for converting nectar into honey, and learned how they keep the honey safe in the honeycombs by sealing it in beeswax to last them through the long cold winter. We also learned how bees communicate with one another through dance, and so many more fun facts!
Out on the playground, the class had so much fun playing a "collect the nectar" game. We set up a small cup of "nectar" (yellow dyed water) on one end of the playground, and the kids used pipettes to run over and "drink it up" like a little bee would and bring it back to their hive (the mud kitchen) where a team of worker bees converted the nectar into honey. They took some fun creative liberties as they mixed up special brews in the mud kitchen, and stored their completed product in their honey comb (ice- cube trays). This was such a fun game that they wanted to play again and again!
Another highlight was a visit from Athena, a local beekeeper who runs a business making and selling her own honey and bee products! This was such a treat. She showed us one of her beehives, and described that she paints each hive uniquely so bee families know which hive is theirs, and showed us the honeycomb sheet that she extracts from the hive. She also taught us about how she developed a love of bees at a young age, wearing out a honeybee library book so much she was ashamed to return it (she still has it to this day)! She also showed us the special hat she wears when she extracts the honeycombs (to protect herself from stings) and gave us a special class gift, a little bear & beehive statue she made from beeswax! What a treat it was to meet Athena this week!
Another fun science activity was showing how the pollen sticks to bee's legs when they land on the flowers. We made little bee legs out of pipe cleaners to stick on our fingers, and pretended to be a bee landing on a flower (we put some cornmeal in the center of the flower to resemble pollen) and watched how the pollen stuck to the pipe- cleaner legs before the bee flew off again! They loved this demonstration and each wanted to take a turn being the honey bee.
The rest of our week was spent outside enjoying sprinkler play, visiting the library, playing games, and singing and dancing to new honeybee poems and songs. We had such a lovely week together! Hope you enjoy the pictures from this week! :)