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BUILD WITH BEES: LIFE CYCLE

8-10 yrs old

Animals

Climate & Environment

Science

Students explore the life cycle of bees, learning what the bees need to thrive -- and what can threaten survival -- at each stage.

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avatar Submitted By: Sarah Red-Laird

August 6, 2020

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Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

National Geographic’s Amazing Time-Lapse: Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes

This 1-minute video shows a time lapse of a bee’s life from egg to pupa to larva to adult.

Honey Bee Caste and Life Cycle Worksheet

Using this worksheet, students label pictures of the different bee castes and life stages.

What's the Waggle Dance? And Why Do Honey Bees Do It?

Honeybees search high and wide for the best flowers. And when they find them, they go back to the hive and "tell" the other bees how to get there.

The Challenges Bees Face

A Kids and Bees video briefly explaining the challenges bees face: pesticides, climate change, disease, and habitat loss.

Kids and Bees Minecraft World

Download and open in Minecraft: Education Edition.

Supporting Files

Icon_Download

Honey Bee Caste Worksheet


Using this worksheet, students label pictures of the different bee castes.

Icon_Download

Honey Bee Life Cycle Worksheet


Using this worksheet, students label pictures of the different bee life stages.

Icon_Download

Kids and Bees: Life Cycle Teacher's Guide


Learning Objectives

  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns, Systems and System Models
  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms
  • Recognize the stages of a honeybee’s life cycle, and identify what can help or hurt a bee’s chances of survival
  • Understand the importance of castes and jobs within a hive

Guiding Ideas

This project was developed with the American Beekeeping Federation’s Kids and Bees program. Explore three new worlds, created by Lifeboat, and use eleven new lessons to introduce students to bees' dynamic and fascinating roles in their own hives and in broader ecosystems. “Life Cycle of a Bee” is lesson 5/5 for the Beehive World.

Introductory questions

  • Think about a familiar insect: butterflies. What do you know about a butterfly’s life cycle? What are the stages a butterfly goes through? (egg, caterpillar/larva, chrysalis/pupa, adult)
  • What life stages can we see in the bee video?
  • Once an adult bee has emerged, what does it do? Does it do the same thing for its whole life?

 

Student Activities

Introduction (whole class) 5-10 minutes

As a class, watch National Geographic’s Amazing Time-Lapse: Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes video. Ask students what they saw and noticed during the video, and what it made them wonder about. Invite curiosity without seeking specific answers. Then, using the first two questions above, guide a discussion that prepares students to identify the four stages of a bee’s life cycle as they watch the video a second time. Write the names of the four stages on the board, in order, to help students remember what to look for and to use as a prompt during the game later in this lesson.

After watching the video a second time, explain to the students that in this lesson, they are going to be learning about the specifics of a bee’s life cycle, which they just witnessed, and they’ll also be learning about what honeybees do once they’re fully grown. Using the third question above, prompt students to consider the many tasks a bee might take on during its life.

Minecraft Beehive (explore as individuals) 20-30 minutes

Direct students to load the attached Kids and Bees Minecraft world file. Speak with Bee Girl and travel to the Hive. Students will meet a scientist in a lab outside of the beehive. The scientist will instruct the students to gather a bee costume, a camera, and a quill and book from the chest. Students will transport to the hive and meet the NPC Bee Girl outside the hive to receive a welcome and introduction to the beehive.

After they enter the hive, students should find the “Nursery” section of the beehive. There, they will follow worker bee Lulu and Bella to learn about honey bee castes -- including the different jobs that worker bees take on in the hive. Then, students put their newfound knowledge into action by becoming “nurse” bees to help Veronia raise new bees in the hive.

After the students feed the larva the bee bread, stand back and wait a few seconds, they will see a transformation! Then warm the transitioning bee up by jumping and wiggling around her, then watch for more life cycle transitions!

Note: The students must fill the combs with pollen, then nectar (in that order) to get their bee bread.

Encourage students to take notes and pictures to have information to complete the in-class worksheet.

Please note that other bee NPCs exist in Beehive World; students will interact with them in other lessons. Also note that many of the NPCs have videos to share, so make sure students have headphones. If the students are having difficulty finding the sections of the hive, they can just ask the queen to send them to where they need to go!

In-Class Exercise and Discussion (Individual) 10 minutes

Hand out one copy of the “Honey Bee Caste Worksheet” and “Honey Bee Life Cycle Worksheet” to each student. Ask students to work individually or in pairs to use the notes from their time in the Nursery to fill in the worksheet.

 

Please download the teacher's guide for the complete lesson.

Total time: 45-70 minutes

Performance Expectations

This lesson will enable students to:

  • List in order the four life stages of a honeybee, and identify what can help or hurt a bee during the different stages
  • Describe the castes and jobs within a honeybee hive

 

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical Thinking

External References

National Geographic’s Amazing Time-Lapse: Bees Hatch Before Your Eyes

This 1-minute video shows a time lapse of a bee’s life from egg to pupa to larva to adult.

Honey Bee Caste and Life Cycle Worksheet

Using this worksheet, students label pictures of the different bee castes and life stages.

What's the Waggle Dance? And Why Do Honey Bees Do It?

Honeybees search high and wide for the best flowers. And when they find them, they go back to the hive and "tell" the other bees how to get there.

The Challenges Bees Face

A Kids and Bees video briefly explaining the challenges bees face: pesticides, climate change, disease, and habitat loss.

Kids and Bees Minecraft World

Download and open in Minecraft: Education Edition.

Supporting Files

Icon_Download

Honey Bee Caste Worksheet


Using this worksheet, students label pictures of the different bee castes.

Icon_Download

Honey Bee Life Cycle Worksheet


Using this worksheet, students label pictures of the different bee life stages.

Icon_Download

Kids and Bees: Life Cycle Teacher's Guide