3rd Grade Science Kit Connection to Honeybees
As a component of our most recent Science Unit, we covered how bees are connected to the pollination of flowers/crops in our environment. On January 17, Ray Lowe of Hiwire Honeybees in LaFayette, came in to share his beekeeping expertise with the 3rd graders. Students had prepared for his visit by reading several passages on ReadWorks, watching multiple video clips from a well known beekeeper (Mattie Moate), and creating a long list of questions for Mr. Lowe.
Ray brought an unoccupied hive so students could see what beeswax, honeycomb, and honey look like up close within the hive. Students were able to check out a beekeeper’s protective “uniform” along with the “smoker” used to distract bees while working with active hives. Students learned how honeybee colonies are declining due to mites, and how beekeepers are attempting to challenge that threat. We were able to actually see photos of what these mites look like on bees and learned that they actually attach themselves before the bee even hatches!
Our students will be writing illustrated stories based on Mr. Lowe’s visit. They will also be writing thank you notes to send to him. As teachers, we are generally successful in providing engaging instruction for our students, but there is nothing like up-close/hands-on learning from local experts in our own community!
My students are also aware that I have 7 of Ray’s hives on my property. I have been keeping them informed since Sept. on the progress of our honeybees and their hives. They are looking forward to seeing how the bees survive through the winter! I’m fortunate to be able to share my connection to my brother and his local business with my students.