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Oh bee hive! Fifth graders learn about busy insect

By Staff | Jan 25, 2008

Fifth grade students at Estherville Lincoln Central are all buzzing!

They now know firsthand a little honey sweetens the learning process.

The assignment was to read “From Bees to Honey.” After completing this task, the entire class said it was the “sweetest story.”

Fifth grade teacher Robyn Swisher said the students read this nonfiction selection to hone their skills in discovering text structure and how to use this structure to determine the main idea and details.

In addition, the students now have a better understanding of what a beekeeper does to care for the hives.

The highlight of the study was presented to the class on Wednesday when Paige Hoffmeyer gave a demonstration using various tools, beekeeper’s suit and equipment of the beekeeping business. The seventh grade student used to help her grandfather, Jerry Hoffmeyer, with his bees and various daily chores.

Paige informed fifth graders that a typical hive contains 80,000 bees and the queen bee lay, 1500 eggs per day.

The male bees that live in the hive are called drones and their main function is to mate.

All the workers are female.

The average bee can fly several miles to collect pollen, but only makes about a half teaspoon of honey in its lifetime.

Students’ questions for Paige included, “How long does it take a bee to die after it stings you?” (Right away. Also, bees only sting if the hive is threatened) “Have you ever been stung?” (Several times).

The students gained insightful knowledge about keeping bees while perfecting reading skills.

As far as we can tell, not a one got stung in the process!