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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Busy as Bees

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Students from Kristie Hankins' and Lana Powell's second grade classes at Bainbridge Elementary pretend to be flowers and bees as 2009 Indiana Honey Queen Lisa Schluttenhoffer teaches about how bees collect pollen.
BAINBRIDGE -- 2009 Indiana Honey Queen Lisa Schluttenhofer visited Bainbridge Elementary second graders last Wednesday to talk to students about bees.

All four second grade classes learned about queen bees, drones and worker bees. They found out what each type of bee is assigned to work on for the hive.

"Did you know there are 600,000 bees in a hive?" Schluttenhofer asked the students. "That's a lot more bees than kids in this school," she said after asking how many students attended Bainbridge.

"We have about 600 students," teacher Lana Powell replied. Students were impressed by the numbers and by the fact that honey bees don't sting unless they have to.

One student asked Schluttenhofer if she had ever been stung.
"Lots of times," replied the queen who has hives at her home. "Mostly because I wasn't very careful," she added.

Second graders at the school are in the process of reading a book all about bees and were getting a first-hand look at how bees live from Schluttenhofer who is as a student at Purdue University.

When asked what the queen bee's job was. One student correctly replied, "To rule the hive." This question lead to a discussion about the queen being the mother to all 600,000 bees and how every bee was assigned a job in the hive.

"Some bees take care of the babies. They start with the older ones first. Some bees go out of the hive and collect pollen," explained Schluttenhofer.

They saw pictures of bees with "pollen baskets." These are actually formed on the bee's legs as it collects pollen to take back to the hive.

"It's hard for the bee to fly very far or very fast when his baskets are full of pollen. The way they fly with the pollen is called stagger fly," Schluttenhofer told the group. "It's like having saddle bags on your legs."

The honey queen also explained how bees clean their home and produce honey. Kids were astonished to find out the bees only live about six weeks.

"Bees are really, really smart. They even know how to make wax to cap off the honey when it reaches a certain moisture level," said Schluttenhofer.

After asking students what they had for lunch (chicken nuggets, tater tots and fruit), she explained how all that food was connected to bees.

"Bees even pollinate cotton for the clothes we wear," said Schluttenhofer.

Students asked questions like what happens to the hive if the queen bee gets sick.

"What if a bear comes?" said one girl. "And, how does a bee die when it stings?"

One last question came from a little boy on the front row who asked Schluttenhofer if she thought she could come back another time and talk to students some more about bees.

"I would love to come back," she responded. "You have all been so good."

Schluttenhofer visits schools pretty regularly as part of her queen duties. She left a book all about bees for the schools library.

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This is great, those kids had some good questions! Hopefully the kids will remember this lesson for a lifetime.

-- Posted by Xgamer on Wed, Dec 10, 2008, at 6:06 AM

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