Last spring my son took a real interest in learning about bees. My kids took a bee-themed class offered through our school district’s homestudy program, and we did additional activities at home and in our community to learn about bees.
One area of focus during our bee unit was the beehive. A beehive is a structure where bees live and raise their young. Beehives in the wild are generally formed in naturally occurring structures like hollowed out trees. However, bee keepers who raise bees for honey have created man-made structures that are also referred to as “beehives.”
The internal structure of a beehive is formed of densely packed groups of hexagonal cells made of beeswax. This structure is commonly referred to as a honeycomb. Bees use the hexagonal cells to store food, such as honey and pollen, and to keep young bees (e.g., eggs, larvae, and pupae) safe.
Note: You’ll find more resources for learning about bees and other insects on my Insects Unit Study page.
The idea to make a beehive model from pattern blocks came about on a whim. I had set the pattern blocks out for my kids to play with, and QBoy started naturally putting the hexagons together. I then noted that the shape looked like the honeycomb in a beehive, and he decided to take it from there.
He decided to draw some bees on a piece of paper and then cut them out.
He placed a bee on the beehive.
But beehives are busy, buzzing places with bees constantly in motion, and one bee looked too lonely.
So more bees were added.
With this simple, spontaneous activity, we got to explore bees, geometry, and repeating patterns. How might this activity inspire your children?
More bee learning resources
More posts about bees and other insects from Gift of Curiosity:
- Bee Do-a-Dot Printables
- Bee Sudoku
- Honey taste testing activity
- Insects Printables Pack
- Insect learning activities
- Insects grid games