The Latest on Bees

We are deep into our expedition!  Last week, we studied the honeybee’s life cycle.  After reading about the different stages, students worked in groups to make up skits about the honeybee’s life cycle.  We were giggling at all of the creative interpretations of the life cycle.

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Dramatic Interpretations of the Honeybee’s Life Cycle

Working with our partners at City Blossoms, we spent last Thursday making paper maché bees.  If your student suddenly seems sick next week, you can reinforce that while helping each other blow up balloons is friendly, it is really germy!  Next week we’ll pop the balloons and make tissue paper covers to help our bees camouflage when they pollinate.

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We also learned about the different adaptations bees and flowers make.  We looked at flowers as bees see them and saw that there are UV color patterns on flowers that people cannot see.  We discovered patterns around the center of the flowers that we inferred were used as landing strips for the bees.  We learned that flowers have these patterns so bees know where to find the pollen and nectar.  Flowers need bees to get this pollen so they can pollinate.  We also realized that when a honeybee is in the center of a flower, its yellow and black pattern helps it camouflage, protecting it from predators.

Testing out our theories, we did a simulation of the relationship between bees, flowers, and frogs.  Some students acted as flowers with the “landing strip” petal pattern.  Others were flowers who did not have the strip.  The bees landed on the flowers with the strip and those without it were unable to pollinate and grow more flowers.  Similarly, the bees with stripes were able to camouflage on the flowers, while those without stripes were eaten by the frogs.  We determined that bees and flowers have these adaptations to help them survive.

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Akesh acts like a flower trying to attract bees to pollinate him.  Leanie and Adam act as bees pollinating flowers.  

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Rebecca and Jener were the only bees who camouflaged with their flowers.  Adam and Leanie did not camouflage when they were pollinating so the frogs easily got them!

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