Nature Activity

Honey Bees


 Honey bee carrying pollen

Do you know someone who’s a busy bee, a person who is always busy doing something? The expression busy bee comes from the fact that honey bees are always working. In fact, they are some of the busiest and most productive workers in nature!

Think about this: to make one pound of honey, the bees from one hive have to visit two million flowers and fly over 55,000 miles—something that would take approximately 768 bees their entire lifetime to accomplish. That means that a single honey bee has to visit 50–100 flowers every time it flies out of the hive. At each flower, the bee collects pollen and stores it in the special pollen basket behind its back legs. Then, when it gets back to the hive, the bee empties the pollen into a honeycomb, where it’s turned into honey.

In addition to being hard workers, bees can also solve math problems! A bee doesn’t just fly out of the hive and randomly go from flower to flower. No! Bees have an internal GPS and can figure out the shortest distance between flowers so they don’t waste any time flying around. With a life span of only six short weeks, their goal is to make as much honey as possible while they can.

Bible Lesson

God has given us a wonderful gift called . . . time. We only have a certain amount of time on this earth, and we need to spend it using our talents to share Jesus with others. Don’t get distracted by the world and all the things the devil uses to take our minds away from our real goal . . . being a “busy bee” for Jesus.

Bible Verse:
“Making the best use of the time,
because the days are evil.
Therefore do not be foolish,
but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
Ephesians 5:16-17 (ESV)

Help A Bee Out!

Download the honey bee activity sheet and help a bee out of the honeycomb.

  Download & Print

May 20th is World Bee Day!

You can help bees by providing a pollinator habitat by not mowing in May.

bee image
Closeup of honey comb photo
A honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal wax cells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae (babies) and stores of honey and pollen.

What is Honey? (simplified)

Honey is a sweet, food substance made by honey bees. Bees make honey from the sugary secretions of plants (flower nectar) by mixing, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation. Bees store honey in wax structures called honeycombs.

WAIT! It's not bee vomit.

Bees store nectar and water that they suck up into their pre-digestive "honey sac" or "honey stomach." This is not a normal stomach like humans have. This is a way that bees can keep this substance for use later at the hive.

When the bee gets back to the hive it pumps out the nectar solution to another bee (processing bee) who mixes is with an enzyme. They then work to eliminate some of the moisture from the solution by holding a hold a small sheet of the syrup in its partially distended mouth parts. If the honey isn't used right away for other purposes it will then be stored in honeycombs for later use.

What is Beeswax?

Beeswax is a natural wax substance produced by special worker bees. The wax is formed into scales (clear at first and very small!) by eight wax-producing glands on the bees. The hive workers then use it to build the combs. Through the process of chewing and contamination of pollen and other bits the wax changes color.

Beeswax is used in many ways by humans as well. lip balm, hand creams, hair wax, candles, wood protectant, it can also be eaten.

It is removed from the hive and melted down and broken into chunks.

Scale image: Bienenvolk-Gemuell/wikipedia

Vocabulary

Beekeeping: the occupation of owning and breeding bees for their honey.

Honey Sac: where bees store nectar and water for the production of honey.

Honeycomb The hexagonal cells the bees make to store larvae, honey and pollen in.

Beeswax: What the honeycomb is made out of. A special product created by specialized worker bees.

Swarm: Swarming is a honey bee colony's natural means of reproduction. Splitting into two colonies.

shutterstock/ungvar

Bees will swarm, it's a natural way for them to split into two colonies.
bee anatomy image
shutterstock
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Kids Club for Jesus Studio and Leadership Center is a 501c(3) Non-profit orginization. Please visit our profile on Guidestar