Sunday, 2 June 2013

Buzzing Bees

It all began during the early warm days of fall 2012 when students noticed lots of bees around our school, buzzing here and there and occasionally stinging a person or two. 

When winter came and we ventured outside to see what we could see the conversation of bees came up again. 

BG - Maybe animals are hibernating?
CL - Maybe it's a bee hole because it has so many holes.  They can go in there and hibernate in there.  

RH wondered "Where are bees in winter?"  
LF - In winter they're making honey.
MJ - So where are they?
LF - In their hive making their honey.
RH - They make honey only when it's summer.  If there's no flowers out they can't make honey for anyone.
LF - Yeah they can.  There's honey in their beehive.
C - I remember from last year they suck it out of yellow flowers.
NB - It doesn't have to be yellow flowers.
KB - It can be any kind of flower.  It can even be the flowers or it doesn't have to be just yellow flowers.  
BR - The flowers won't make yellow.
TT - Bees drink from flowers too.  

We searched wonderopolis and found some information. 

What Do Bees Do in Winter? (wonder #51)

What did you learn about bees in winter?

CB - I saw the queen bee and it had fur.
RH - If it has a queen bee it must have a baby bees.
R - If a queen bee have a prince it will have babies.
V - If bee go outside to pee then move away side then he pee then nother bee come to pee.  Small bee or big bee, every bee. 

How come the bees cluster? (JI)
What is cluster? (RL)

Ms. Jelley shared our ongoing investigation with her teacher friend Ms. Trimm who then sent us some amazing photos of a bee they found outside their classroom one day in winter.  The bee was frozen in the ice but on this sunny day and on her warm hand the ice began to melt and the bee began to move!

(Thank you to Joanne Trimm for sharing these fantastic photos!)

Our wonderings and curiosity about bees continued as we re-visited our thinking a few weeks ago, preparing for a visit from Scientist Cathy (who happens to be KB's aunt!).  She was coming to assist in our investigation through a workshop called:
                   Buzz About Bees

Meanwhile, Ms. Lilley found a huge wasp nest in the ditch last spring and with our bee research well underway she decided to investigate with some of our team what it looks like inside.  So she used scissors to cut it open.....

We watched as she used tweezers to investigate further.....

The team found actual wasps inside the nest but they weren't alive!

 The wasp nest looked and felt like paper.

When Scientist Cathy finally came to visit we shared with her what we already knew about bees.  She shared some amazing facts about bees including what bee keepers wear to protect themselves from getting stung!

After Scientist Cathy left we visited Wonderopolis with a wondering: 

Do beekeepers ever get stung? #962

What are you thinking after seeing this video?

And our inquiry continues.  The following day (May 28) we brainstormed new wonderings that still need attention as we continued to examine bees and our wasp nest!

What is the difference between a bee hive and a wasp nest?
What is the difference between a bee and a wasp?
Do wasps make honey?
How do wasps make their nest?
What is a hornet?

And further wonderings noticed while visiting Wonderopolis:

Why do bees sting? #41 

Why do bees buzz? #4

Our investigation continues......

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