Buzz Into Action with The Honey Bee Factory


 BUZZ INTO ACTION, The Insect Curriculum for Grades K-4.

People shove them away – spray pesticides at them and run like zombies when they fly past.

But this animal it only makes things we can use.

Like honey! – its the only insect that makes food we can eat.

or Wax – for candles, polish, packaging

and Propolis – an antimicrobial used to treat wounds.

Ohh and it Pollinates!  Bees and flowers have a special relationship: The flower provides nectar and pollen that the bee uses for food and in return, the flower receives pollen from other flowers carried by the bee and thus fertilization occurs. The bee is an unbelievably effective pollen delivery service as it visits 50-100 flowers per trip spreading pollen that stimulates flowers into producing seeds.

Yet each bee only produces 1/12 of a teaspoon or less than the tip of your pinkie finger worth of honey in its entire lifetime.

And only the female bees work the hive and make the honey.  They are the worker bees. The males are drones and only mate. They have to beg to be fed until the females get tired of them and kick them out for the winter.

And of course don’t forget the queen, she lays 1,500 eggs a day or more to keep the hive buzzing through the summer so they store enough honey to survive the winter.  She can live five years, leaving her hive to a new queen before she passes or leaving her hive to a new queen to go off and start another hive elsewhere.  Only moving to a new hive when the workers have pre-measured the space and returned to the old hive to demonstrate their findings with a chemically choreographed dance they have been perfecting over millions of years.

All with a brain smaller than a sesame seed!


“I like pulling on a baggy bee suit, forgetting myself and getting as close to the bees’ lives as they will let me, remembering in the process that there is more to life than the merely human.”  ― Sue Hubbell, A Book of Bees: And How to Keep Them

David Alexander is author of the Buzz Into Action & Hop Into Action Science Curricula.  He specializes in making nature accessible to people and wildlife.  You can follow him at


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