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Distributed By ParamountDreamWorks
National Honey Board

About This Lesson Plan

GRADE
3-5

DURATION
1 null

UNIT PLAN
Get the Buzz on Honey Bees

get the buzz on honey bees

The Characteristics of Honey Bees

 In this lesson, students learn about the honey bee itself, including the scientific name for the honey bee, what the honey bee’s body looks like, and how honey bees grow. Students study the "Get the Buzz on Honey Bees" classroom map to identify state capitals.

OBJECTIVE

Science Objective: Students learn the Latin name for the honey bee; about its life stages; and about honey bee anatomy

Geography Objective: Students become familiar with a U.S. map and understand basic map elements, such as state capitals, as they identify which states rely on bees for pollination.

MATERIALS

Student Reproducible: Lesson Activity 2, The Bee Body (PDF)
Student Glossary (PDF)
Bonus Reproducible 2: A Beekeeper’s Equipment (PDF)

SET UP AND PREPARE

Time Required: One 40-minute class

REPRODUCIBLES

  1. Lesson Activity 2, The Bee Body
  2. Bonus Reproducible 2: A Beekeeper’s Equipment

DIRECTIONS

    Lesson Steps:
  1. Remind students that scientists use two names to identify living things: a genus name and a species name. The genus is the more general term, and there are usually multiple species within a single genus. Explain that the species of honey bee commonly found today in the Americas is the Latin name Apis mellifera, which means “honey carrier.” Ask students why this name is not technically correct. (Because the bees carry nectar, not honey, from flowers to the hive.)

  2. Explain to students that the queen bee lays eggs inside the hive, and that honey bees have four distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Complete metamorphosis (the life stages from an egg to an adult bee) takes between 16 and 24 days.

  3. Ask students: Besides honey bees, how many other kinds of bees can you think of? Jot students’ answers on the board. Tell students that races of Apis mellifera have different physical and behavioral characteristics, such as body color and wing length.

  4. Make copies and distribute Lesson Activity 2. Review the bee body parts listed there, and discuss the importance of each for hive survival. Provide the class with copies of the Student Glossary, for reference.
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