Monday, August 13, 2012

Lessons From the Beehive Giveaway

I was excited to receive the opportunity to review a copy of the ebook Lessons from the Beehive by Carol J. Alexander over at Lessons from the Homestead.  I've read her other three ebooks--Lessons from the Hen House, Lessons from the Seed Catalog and Lessons from the Tree House and gleaned quite a few great ideas to include in my home school curriculum.

First off, no.  We do not raise bees.  At least not purposely.  We do have a lot of flowers that attract bees to the point that my flower garden is always buzzing.  But we don't have enough land to raise bees at this point.

Thankfully for people like me, Lessons from the Beehive is not a book about raising bees.  It is a book that gives ideas for learning about bees from observing bees.  It includes over fifty lessons in math, language, science, art and home economics.  There are also a ton of additional resources listed for further study.

The first thing we did was request a recommended book, The Life and Times of the Honeybee by Charles Micucci, from the library.  I gave it to David to read in the car on our way home from the library.  Over the course of the next week, he rattled off facts he'd learned about honeybees.  Mom, did you know that a honeybee has two stomachs-one to store nectar to make honey and one to digest food?  Mom, did you know that the queen bee lays up to fifteen hundred eggs a day?  Mom, did you know that honey is 80% water?  Mom, did you know that the bees eat the honey over the winter for their food source?

Bees we saw at the nature center while on vacation last week

The next thing we did was a little science--the lesson said to research what kinds of flowers to plant in your yard to attract honeybees.  Instead of this, I asked the kids to go observe which of our flowers seem to attract the most bees.  Our black-eyes susans, purple coneflowers, and purple hyssop are the biggest attracters, but the oregano in the vegetable garden is also a top contender.

For geography, we marked a map using the scale and compass to show a two mile radius around our house--showing the area that a bee will travel from its hive.  We then drove around the marked area to observe any possible sources of pollen and nectar for the bees.  We are surrounded by farm land and a tree farm, so we knew those were top sources.  There are a lot of meadows and overgrown farm fields that were also likely sources.  Plus the many flower gardens we passed on our journey.

Bees hard at work

For math I had David work out a few story problems.  If a queen lays fifteen hundred eggs a day and lives for four years, how many eggs would she lay in her lifetime?  If a honey bee beets its wings 11,500 times a minute, how many times would she beet them in an hour?  A day?  David worked them all out--the more challenging the better.

For art we drew pictures of the flowers in our garden with bees pollinating them.  I also had the kids draw pictures of bees and label all the parts of a bee.  This was Lizzy's favorite part because she's my little artist.

Lizzy's picture

 For home economics, we made biscuits using honey instead of sugar and slathered honey all over them.  They were tasty.  We also made bread and pizza crust again substituting honey for sugar.  My children all agreed they preferred using honey over sugar.

Joy's picture

The final thing we did to round out our bee study was to take a field trip to a local bee farm.  The kids were fascinated by it.  They got to try on beekeeper suits, see an abandoned bee hive up close, visit an active bee hive (though we didn't get too close to it), and tour the honey packaging facility.  We even purchased a jar of delicious honey.

David's picture

We had a lot of fun working our way through Lessons from a Beehive and I am sure that my children will remember what they've learned a lot better because of it.

Want to win your own copy? 

You have up to three chances to win by doing the following:

1. "Like" Lessons from the Homestead on Facebook
2. "Like" Ladybug Farms on Facebook
3. Check out Lessons from the Homestead and tell me which one of her lesson books you would choose if you won (there are four of them)

Leave a separate comment for each to earn your three entries.

The contest ends August 17 at 8am Eastern Standard Time and the winner will be announced here and contacted by email.  Good luck!


  1. Thank you for your kinds words and wonderful review, Lisa. I appreciate your enthusiasm.

  2. Like Lessons from the Homestead fb fan

  3. Ladybug Farms fb fan

  4. Lessons from The Hen House
    Gingeroo616 at aol dotcom

  5. you mean I have to choose??? lol they are all great.. I think for my two youngest boys I'd have to say the Lessons from the Tree House!! They like to "build" and had a fort (neighbor knocked it down) so I know they would love this and love to build another one ;-)

    Thanks for the chance to win!!

  6. I'd definitely want Lessons from the Beehive! I have the other three and use them with my husband---he's had three strokes. He loves the rich variety of problems and making up our own. Great for working on cognitive abilities in a practical and adult manner.

  7. Liked Lessons from the Homestead on Facebook.

  8. Liked Ladybug Farms on Facebook.

  9. My boys would love Lessons from the Beehive!