The Honey Bee class have loved exploring their class animal. During Transition week, the children experienced a visit to the school’s apiary and some children had the confidence to hold a frame from the hive. As the year progresses, the children will become more involved in the life of bee-keeping and complete inspections of the hives under close supervision.
Since September, the class have been learning about the parts of a hive, the jobs bees do in and out the hive, the anatomy of a honey bee and also got to try some honey from the school's hive as a reward for their hard work.
As winter approaches, we have been having a last check on our hives; they have plenty of stores to keep them going for now but we will continue to check this as they may require some feed from us as winter progresses. We have also been putting the mouse guards in and were fascinated by the pollen on one worker bee that we observed.
The Honey Bee class have had a great opportunity to link our work in the apiary to our Science learning of states of matter. After defining solids, liquids and gases, the children explored the process of wax rendering and the outcome of heating the wax capping to change the state from solid to liquid. The children planned their own investigations to find out how long the wax would take to melt and at what temperature. We will be continuing to make changes to these materials by making bee's wax wraps as an alternative to plastic sandwich bags or tinfoil!
We had our final visit of 2019 to the bee hives to ensure they are winter ready. We have added foam to the tops of the hives to keep them warm and added some sugar fondant to ensure they have plenty to feed on over the Christmas holidays.