A couple of weeks back the children were playing in the garden when my eldest pointed out a dark cloud moving around our dog. It turns out that dark cloud was in fact a swarm of bees searching for a new hive. While I do not underestimate the importance of bees and I was very happy to see a new bee colony being formed (swarming is the process by which a new honey bee colony is formed when the queen bee leaves the colony with a large group of worker bees ) I was less than thrilled when they settled on a branch adjacent to my patio.
That brown lump on the branch is a cluster of about 5000 bees!
So we called in a bee keeper to humanely remove the bees and relocate them to a field somewhere where they could settle happily without being disturbed.
My little ones were fascinated (at a safe distance of course) and so I took the opportunity to teach them a bit about bees, where they live and how they make honey. After showing them some pictures online of bees and hives and honeycombs, I decided to let them make their own bees and hives out of egg boxes and toilet rolls (very scientific)!
What you need
• Empty egg boxes cut into individual hexagons
• Empty toilet roll tubes cut into smaller pieces (about 2cm in thickness)
• Black and yellow paint
• Pipe cleaners
• Googly eyes
• A large piece of card
I was given instructions to help paint the loo rolls.
Paint the egg box cut outs yellow with black stripes (these are your bees). We actually didn’t have any black paint (oops) and so we just black marker to do this.
Once the paint is dry stick on your eyes and make a loop out of each pipe cleaner for the wings.
Take your toilet roll rings and glue them to your large piece of card. This will be the bees ‘hive’.
Let the children fly their little bees in and out of the hive.