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Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. We have begun mailing our Gift Catalog for this year’s holiday season and will be featuring activities that highlight the items available.

The Buzz About Bees

One of Heifer’s most important commitments is to care for the Earth. Development must be sustainable, and our projects should be long-term investments in the future of people and the planet. Bees fit this bill perfectly. As bees search for nectar they pollinate plants. If placed in the right location, beehives may double fruit and vegetable production. Most Heifer partners keep bees as a supplement to family income, but beekeeping can provide a livelihood for an entire family. This gift can help provide a family with a package of bees, the box and hive, plus beekeeping training. And of course, this unique gift will be passed on from one family to another in need.

Today, we are going to pretend we are bees, flying from flower to flower drinking the nectar with our proboscis, which is a tongue that looks like a drinking straw. A bee can only transport one eyedropper's worth of nectar at a time, so when it is full it returns to the hive to deposit the nectar into the hive cells.

Materials:

  • eyedropper
  • cup of water
  • medicine cup marked with teaspoon and tablespoon measurements

Put the medicine cup across the room from the water and eyedropper. Take turns transferring water across the room, one drop at a time, making sure someone is keeping track of the drops needed to produce one teaspoon to two tablespoons. Remember as you are transferring the water, each time you cross the room represents one bee flight, which includes stops at many many flowers. Think about it! Each bee produces about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime. That's a lot of hard, tedious work for such a small amount.  That's why there are so many bees in a hive, and why they all appear to be as "busy as a bee."

To learn more about bees and see more activities go to www.scholastic.com. To read about how bees have been helping Heifer participants around the world, read these blog posts.

photo credit: ben matthews ::: / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Author

Linda Meyers

Linda Meyers, an Arkansas transplant originally from St. Louis, Mo., started working at Heifer International in 2011. She enjoys dragging her three children on nature hikes and snapping photos of them and everything around her. She has a bachelor’s degree in English has been “in the process” of writing the great American novel for 24 years.