One of the first sounds of spring is the buzz of bees. Honey bees, bumble bees and all the other little black-and-yellow striped creatures busily going from one flower to the other, collecting nectar, fascinates every little nature observer. Capture that interest in learning with these honey bee life cycle worksheets.
Every little busy learner will love learning about these busy bees. With fun, colorful graphics, and clear instructions, these worksheets are a great extension of your environmental or biology studies.
If you love this activity, check out my Bee Activities for Kids blog post for more!
>> See more life cycle worksheets for kids here
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Recommended Bee Books for Kids
One of the best places to start your study of bees is with one of these excellent resources. We love using books, both non-fiction and fiction, in our studies. And these are a few of our favorites.
National Geographic Readers: BeesExplore My World: Honey BeesWhat If There Were No Bees?: A Book About the Grassland Ecosystem (Food Chain Reactions)The HoneybeeThe Life and Times of the HoneybeeBee & Me
Honeybees are becoming endangered, so learning all we can about them will help us protect them. Over the last decade or so, colonies of bees have been collapsing and thousands of bees are dying. In some areas, 90% of bees have disappeared. And this puts a strain on not just wildlife but on our own crops as well.
What are the four stages of the honey bee life cycle?
Honey bees, like most insects, have a four-stage life cycle. They start as eggs, hatch into larvae, then metamorphose into pupae, and finally transform into adult bees.
The eggs are tiny, and laid individually in each “egg cell” in the honeycomb. Eggs are only laid by queen bees, one per cell. Most eggs grow into female worker bees, but a few are also male drone bees.
Shortly after laying, the eggs hatch into larvae. The larva are tiny but hungry. They will eat over a thousand meals a day! Their first food is “royal jelly” but soon they are fed “bee bread”, a mixture of pollen and honey. Worker bees care for the eggs and larva, until the larva are ready to cocoon.
Workers cover the cells with a thin layer of beeswax when the larva cocoon and turn into pupae. The pupa undergo a huge transformation, and within a couple of weeks, the adult bees chew their way out of the cells and join the ranks of the colony.
How long do bees take to mature?
Bees take approximately 20 days from first laying to mature. They spend about 3 days as eggs, 5 days as larvae, and about 12 days in the pupae stage.
When a queen bee dies, worker bees choose an egg to be a new queen bee, and feed it a special form of royal jelly. Queen bees mature quickly, in about 16 days.
Male drone bees take the longest to mature, becoming full grown in about 24 days. But worker bees, all female, grow to maturity in about 20-21 days.
Do honey bees die in the winter?
While some species of bees hibernate all winter, and others die off in the winter, honey bees don’t. That’s why they make honey!!
Honey bees remain active, inside their hive, all winter. As the temperature drops, they gather close around the queen and the remaining eggs and larva, and begin to shiver. The movement warms the entire hive to keep the bees from freezing.
They feed on honey, and constantly shift position from the outside to the inside, to keep from freezing. They also move from honey store to honey store, and continue to feed so they can move to stay warm.
>> See more fun life cycle for kids
Recommended Flower Growing Kits
Want to see more bees? Plant more flowers, create a garden where bees can come to pollinate your flowers. Bees really love our giant lavender plant.
Give them a reason to come visit you. Like if you want to see butterflies, plant some milkweed plants.
Backyard Safari Company Grow Gardens, Honey Bee HabitatMr. Sprout Sunflower Starter Kit – Plant Growing Kit for Kids, Adults Or Gift Idea – Flower Seed Starter Kit Includes Peat Pots, Nutrient Rich Soil Pellets, and Plant TagsSproutbrite Wildflower Seed Starter Kit – Sunflowers Daises & More – Grow Your Own Mini Flower Garden – Gardening Gift Kit for Growing Indoors or OutdoorsDan&Darci Paint & Plant Flower Growing Kit – Grow Cosmos, Zinnia, Marigold Flowers – Includes Everything Needed to Paint and Grow – Great Gift for Children STEMGermination Kit for Veggies | Grow Zucchini, Strawberry, Green Beans, Sweet- & Hot Peppers from Seed | Complete Indoor Gardening Gift Item | Ideal Plants for Kids & Craft Days |
Honey bees produce about 25 lbs of honey every season. And that’s far more than they need, which is why we can harvest some for ourselves as well.
Each individual worker bee produces only 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey, but as a whole, the colony produces 2-3 times the amount of honey they need to survive the winter. And while they’re collecting the nectar they need to create honey, they’re also pollinating the plants and flowers.
Honey bees are important to us and our food! Learn all about the honey bee and how they grow with these honey bee life cycle worksheets.
Download the Honey Bee Life Cycle Worksheets Sample below
Get the full Honey Bee Life Cycle Worksheets in my shop.