All the Buzz on Bees

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First Lego League Jr. teams work hard to complete challenges that require them to learn about a topic, create moving models that represent the subject and to present their final work. Coaches to Bayville Primary School teams found an interesting and informative way to help students with their current challenge by bringing in the presentation “Mrs. Bee and the Buzz.”

The program was presented by beekeeper Moira Alexander and thoroughly enhanced the robotics program, which is currently focusing on a Creature Craze challenge, which requires students across the country to explore an animal and build a model that shows that animal sharing its habitat with a honey bee.   Ms. Alexander showed students her bee boxes, protective gear, a smoker, frames and other examples of items she uses to harvest honey. She also brought samples of her honey for the children to taste, explaining that honey tastes different from different bees, depending on what types of trees and flowers the bees are getting their nectar from.  

The presentation included learning about the life cycle of the bee, the various jobs that bees have in their hives such as guard bees, nurse bees and worker bees, and all about the Queen bee. Alexander explained that bees take their jobs very seriously. The guard bees, for example, will not allow a bee from another hive to enter their hive. If the bee does not smell like the Queen from their hive, he is pushed away from the entrance.   Alexander also taught the children about her bee boxes and the smoker that she uses to calm the bees before putting her hand into the boxes. Kaira Kirkpatrick, one of the team coaches, said the smoker is a perfect example of a simple machine that is relevant to the First Lego League, Jr. challenge as students must build a model with moving parts.