On June 18th, I gave a presentation about honey bees and beekeeping to a day camp group in Clive.
First, I taught the kids about honey bee anatomy. I did 6-5-4-3-2-1 Honey
Bee Anatomy. A honey bee has six legs, five eyes, four wings, three body parts (head, thorax, and abdomen), two antennae and stomachs, and one stinger and proboscis.
Next, I talked about the honey bee castes (the queen, the drone, and the worker bee). I talked about how the queens only job is to lay eggs and how she can lay up to 2000 eggs a day. I explained that the drones only job is to mate with the queen. Worker bees, of course, do all the work in the hive. They clean the hive; feed the brood, queen, and drones; build beeswax; collect nectar; and much more.
Next, I talked about the life cycle of a honey bee. All honey bees are eggs for three days before hatching and becoming larvae. On day nine the larvae is capped and becomes a pupae. If the bee is a queen, she emerges from her cell on day sixteen. If the bee is a drone, he emerges on day twenty-four. If the bee is a worker bee, she emerges on day twenty-one.
Fourth, I showed the kids how a beekeeper inspect his/her hive. I told them why a beekeeper wears protective clothes and why a beekeeper uses a smoker. I told them what a beekeeper looks for when inspecting a hive.
Finally, I read the book Bee Dance. Then the kids acted out the the waggle dance by finding paper flowers Mom had hidden then coming back to the shelter and doing the waggle dance. I had the oldest kids be foragers first because older bees are the foragers in the hive. One boy found a dandelion and led his friend to it.
The kids were particularly curious to know if bears were a major threat to honey bees. I told them that we do not normally have wild bears in Iowa then explained that humans sometimes hurt honey bees more by killing them with pesticides.
This was a fun program to do. The kids were very attentive for the length the program was.