Lesson 3.6

Bees and Beekeeping

Grades: 7-8

Essential Skills: Language Arts, Science, Social Studies

Duration: 1- 2 class periods


Students learn about the history and modern implementation of beekeeping. Students will learn to recognize and describe the uses of beekeeping equipment.


Teacher Preparation:

Other Materials:

  1. Poster 6. Beekeeper wearing a bee veil, and holding a hive frame
  2. Beekeeping equipment such as a bee veil, smoker, skep, frame, hive tool

Information Sheets:

Activity Sheets:

Lesson Plan

Introduction activity (30 minutes)

Hold up Poster 6 or a picture of a beekeeper working a hive. Introduce the students to the history of beekeeping by reading appropriate passages from Eva Crane's The Archaeology of Beekeeping or Hilda Ransome's The Sacred Bee: In Ancient Times and Folklore. Show a skep. Or have the students search for books and articles on the history of beekeeping and give an oral report.

Invite a beekeeper to talk to the class or visit an apiary.

Beekeeper's Tools

If a beekeeper is not available, have the students read Information Sheets 26 and 27. Gather beekeeping equipment and discuss its use. Then ask the students to investigate and to prepare reports on the following topics:

  1. Beekeeping fundamentals
  2. Races of bees, their characteristics and behavior
  3. Diseases and enemies of honey bees
  4. The economic value of honey production, as well as some less common products (pollen, royal jelly, apitherapy, queens)
  5. The economic value of pollination
  6. Types and uses of honey, and how honey is extracted and prepared for market
  7. Detail how queens are reared
  8. How queens and drones mate
  9. Pesticides and bees
  10. Honey bee defensive behavior
  11. Honey bee foraging
  12. Division of labor in honey bee hives



Words with special meanings:

(for understanding only, not to be tested)

  1. Hive
  2. Frame
  3. Smoker
  4. Hive tool
  5. Bee veil
  6. Apiary
  7. Package bees


Hive Management: A Seasonal Guide for Beekeepers, by Richard E. Bonney. Published by Storey Communications, Pownel, VT. 1990.

The Archaeology of Beekeeping, by Eva Crane. Published by William Heinemann Ltd and the Interna tional Bee Research Association, London. 1983. Available from Wicwas Press.

The Hive and the Honey Bee, edited by J. Graham. Published by Dadant & Sons,

Hamilton, IL. 1975.

A Book of Bees, by Sue Hubbell. Published by Random House, New York. 1988.

Beekeeping, by W. Melzer. Published by Barron's, New York. 1989.

Bees and Beekeeping, by R. A. Morse. Published by Comstock Publ. Assoc. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. 1975.

A Year in the Beeyard, by R. A. Morse. Published by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 1983.

The Sacred Bee: In Ancient Times and Folklore, by Hilda M. Ransome. 1937. A 1986 reprint is available from Wicwas Press.

The Beekeeper's Handbook, by D. Sammataro. Published by Collier Books, London. 2nd Ed. 1986.