National Apple Museum
Biglerville, PA 17307
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Early History
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 A is for apple

Busy as a bee

Iım stuck on you

You may demonstrate the way that bees attract pollen to themselves through the following activity. You will need some dark-colored balloons and baby powder. Spread a little bit of the baby powder on a table, then rub a balloon on your shirt, or the carpet, to create static electricity. Move the balloon slightly above the baby powder, then turn over the balloon to show the students that the powder has collected on the surface of the balloon. Talk to the children about how bees get pollen stuck to them as they travel from apple blossom to apple blossom. While you are demonstrating, you can also talk about these bee facts:

  bee Bee bits

Bees have a seven to ten times better sense of smell and fifteen times better sight than humans. Fromthe hive, bees have a three mile radius in which they search for nectar. From your school, how far does the bee fly to search for nectar?

95% of all bees are females, these are called worker bees. Worker bees live for only 10 days in the summertime. The queen bee lays all the eggs for the hives. Worker bees store them in cells, where they go from an egg to a larvae, then from a pupa to a full grown bee. Bees spend 21 days in the cell, where they emerge as an adult bee, knowing everything that a bee should know. A queen, however, can live for 7-10 years.

5% of the bees in a hive are males, and are called drones. Drones donıt do anything except fly out of the hive to mate with other queens. In the winter, the worker bees force the drones out of the hive to die.

Bees collect nectar from flowers, then return to the hive. When they return, they fan the nectar with their wings to evaporate unnecessary water. What is left after this process is honey. You can make maple syrup in your classroom to demonstrate how evaporation will make the substance thicker.

Bees also collect pollen while they are collecting nectar. They use this pollen to create a mixture with honey to feed to the baby bees. The richest mixture of pollen and honey mixture is called Royal Jelly. At one point in the babyıs growth, this mixture is changed. If the hive needed a new queen, they would keep feeding the baby Royal Jelly. Adult bees eat pure honey.

Bees make 50 trips to a flower to make 1/4 tsp. of honey. It takes 150 pounds of honey to feed a hive for a year. After the 150 pounds are produced, beekeepers may remove the honey.

None of your Beeswax

Try making some beeswax candles in your classroom. What you will need is foundation, which is what is used to line the frames in the hive where the beekeeper wishes the bees to build the honeycomb. Foundation is available at many craft stores. You will also need a candle wick with a metal center, as beeswax burns quickly. Roll the foundation tightly around the wick. This is not only fun to create, but it is also an excellent visual tool for discussing how bees store honey and take care of their young. And beeswax has a wonderful smell.

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The Biglerville Historical and Preservation Society
and The National Apple Museum
154 West Hanover Street - P.O. Box 656
Biglerville, PA 17307-9442 - Telephone: 717-677-4556

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