What’s the Buzz? All About Bees

What’s the buzz? Did you know that one out of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honey bees and other pollinators. Today, we are going to “bee” creative as we celebrate our small winged heroes. Join us as we virtually visit the beekeeper who looks after the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum’s honey bee colony, create art that celebrates the beauty of bees, and even do some bee-inspired yoga as we join Miss Katie and Handley Regional Library for two read-alouds. These “What’s the Buzz?” activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!

Meet Beekeeper John Lewis and explore the world of the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum’s honey bee colony. John introduces us to worker bees, drone bees, and the Queen Bee! You might even see a baby bee emerge.

Bee Creative: Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity x 3

What are pollinators? Pollinators are animals that move pollen from one flower to another so that the plants can produce fruits and seeds. Most pollinators are insects, including bees, wasps, butterflies, flies, ants, and beetles. But some plants are pollinated by birds such as hummingbirds, and some are pollinated by bats!

What is a pollinator garden? It’s a garden planted with native plants that are appealing to pollinators at all stages of their lives. Want to learn more? Check out KidsGardening, Outdoor Families, and the Honeybee Conservancy for gardening ideas.

Art Activity #1: Make a Fingerprint Pollinator Garden

Can you make a pollinator garden using only your hands, some pencils or crayons, and paper? YES, you can! What’s in your garden? Honey bees? Bats? Hummingbirds? Butterflies? Frogs?

What You Need:

What’s in your fingerprint pollinator garden?
Bugs Fingerprint Art Free Printable Guide Kids Art Project ...
Fingerprint pollinator garden inspiration!

Fingerprint Pollinator Garden Instructions:

  • Choose a sheet of white paper for the base of your pollinator garden.  
  • Decide what creatures you want to have in your pollinator garden. Use the pictures as inspiration as you decide where to place your thumb and fingerprints to make animals, insects, and flowers in your pollinator garden.
  •  WASH and DRY your hands.
  •  Use crayons or pencils to complete the details on your animals, insects, and flowers.  Add background scenery. Enjoy your garden.

Art Activity #2: BEE A READER and MAKE A POLLINATOR BOOKMARK

You will need: 

Pollinator Bookmark Instructions:

  • Cut out a rectangle for your bookmark.
  • Use your fingers and thumbs to stamp pollinators to decorate your bookmark.
  • Wash and dry your hands.
  • Add the details to make your pollinators come to life with your crayons, pencils, or markers.
  • What other details do you want on your bookmark? Can you draw hexagons or make a beehive? Do you want to draw flowers and create a pollinator garden? Do you want to write something on your bookmark?
  • When your bookmark is dry and ready, use it to mark your place in your favorite book! You’ll always bee in the right place with your Pollinator Bookmark!

Art Activity #3 Make your own BEE MOSAIC

What kind of honey bee mosaic do you want to create? Will you make a worker bee? A Queen bee? A drone? Or maybe you decide to create a beehive or a flower for the bee? Whatever you create, have fun playing with the idea of making a mosaic. 

What You’ll Need:

  • a sheet of white paper (any size and any shape)
  • several sheets of colored construction paper (torn into very small pieces). If you don’t have construction paper, you can have fun searching for scrap paper around the house — colorful envelopes, old gift wrap, index cards, magazines.
  • glue
  • a pencil with an eraser

Paper Mosaic Instructions:

  • Choose the image or design that you would like to use as the pattern or base of your mosaic. You can use the honey bee outline in this blog or sketch your own design on the white sheet of paper until you are happy with the image.
  • Choose the colored paper you will use for your design. Tear or rip the colored sheets of paper into small pieces of any shape and size. Sort the pieces of torn paper according to color.
  • Choose an area of your image and spread some glue to cover the space. Carefully place several colored paper scraps to cover the glue and press down on each piece firmly. Allow a bit of white space to show through, as that will create the mosaic effect.
  • Continue adding scraps of colored paper until you have covered your image and the background. Allow the glue to dry.  
You can use this as a pattern for your bee — or create your own!

Science and Bees

Discover the life cycle of the honey bee and learn about hive health with Beekeeper John Lewis.

Science Activity: Construct Your Own Pollinator

An example of building insects with blocks from past Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum programs.

Use clay, blocks or legos to build your own pollinator. 

Note the distinct features of the honey bee!

For an insect pollinator like a BEE or a BUTTERFLY, be sure to include:

  • Head
  • Thorax
  • Abdomen
  • 6 legs
  • Antennae
  • Wings and/or Stingers

What other kinds of pollinators can you make using your building materials?

Science Read Aloud: Give Bees A Chance

Join Katie Moss and Handley Regional Library for a read aloud of the nonfiction picture book Give Bees A Chance.

Physical Activity: Bee-Themed Yoga and Exercise

Get some of those wiggles out while learning a little about yoga.

Join Katie Moss and Handley Regional Library for a read aloud of Bee Calm: The Buzz About Yoga. Then check out the bee-themed yoga activities below.

After you read Bee Calm with Miss Katie, try out some of the poses that Bentley the Bee learned. You can even take an online Yoga With Adriene Yoga for Kids class or Cosmic Kids: Enzo the Bee Yoga!

Conversation Starters and Research Questions

What would the world be like if there were no honey bees? How would it change the way you live, the things you eat? What can you do to help the honey bees? Here are some links to get you started on your research.

Bee Brainy: Solve the Pollinator Puzzles

Can you solve Mr. Mark’s Pollinator Puzzle?
Bee the first one to find your way to the flower in Mr. Mark’s Pollinator Puzzle.
How many pollinator words can you find in this puzzle created by Mr. Mark?

Join the Hive:

We can’t wait to have you buzz over to the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum to visit our bees!
Can you spot the Queen?