If you have young ones, you can use this tutorial for how to make a bee as an opportunity to teach the importance of bees. As the various parts of the bees are assembled, the child can learn how the honey bee is perfectly designed to complete the tasks necessary for survival.
Kids love learning about insects – especially bees and butterflies. One of the best ways to introduce the importance of these insects is honey bee crafts.
Basics of Making Bees
As your little ones learn how to make a bee using craft sticks and pipe cleaners – they are doing more than just participating in an art project.
Of course, they are doing that as well. And, no doubt the process of assembling, cutting and gluing is good for hand-eye coordination and motor skills.
This is a basic overview of the materials needed to make a bee. Of course, you may make some substitutions based on materials you already have.
For very young children, you may do more of the cutting and let them help with assembly.
- small craft sticks
- black pipe cleaners
- yellow paint – brush
- black marker or paint pen
- small scraps of yellow cloth
- clear velcro circles 5/8″
- template for wings (if desired)
Feel free to make substitutions or leave some aspects out. This project can be very simple or more involved. You will notice that I left off the stinger for good reason. However, feel free to draw one on if you wish.
Wings are not absolutely necessary for the youngest preschool crafters – but they are a major component of bees. I used a simple template printed on regular paper. You can get that template here.
The yellow cloth squares are used to symbolize pollen. You can omit that part of the project if you wish – or use small yellow pom poms if you have them.
This addition gives the opportunity for some active play. Fake flowers with (cloth squares with velcro) allows the child to help the bee collect needed resources – pollen.
Opportunities to Learn
But, as you work with your child to make this bee – take the opportunity to talk about the parts of a honey bee (on a level age appropriate).
We all know that bees make honey from plant nectar. But, they also need pollen. The hind legs of worker honey bees pollen baskets (that are really not baskets but stiff hairs) – where balls of pollen are place to bring to the hive.
Even more important bee pollination of crops occurs which results in more of the food we love to eat – such as watermelons, cucumber and more.
Other Fun Ideas
Don’t let this be the end of your bee crafting. Kids love honey slime which is easy to make and suitably weird for older kids.
You can have a recycle and reuse lesson with this project for a tin can bee. It also provides a home for some solitary bees.
Some of these ideas make great little gift ideas for special occasions too : teachers, mothers day, Christmas etc.
For the more advanced crafter (including adults) this easy pattern for a DIY Gnome Bee is adorable.
Take every opportunity to use this simple project of making a bee to share the importance of all pollinators. Bees have been the subject of art and history of thousands of years. We would not have so many bee quotes and sayings if they were not important.
Make a Bee Tutorial
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- Hot Glue Gun – with sticks
- Paint Brushes Asst
- Paint both sides of a craft stick bright yellow.
- Take a black pipe cleaner and cut it in half. You will have two pieces about 6 inches long. This will make the bee legs.Bees have 6 legs so you need 3 pieces. (each one will make 2 legs)
- Use a black marker or paint pen to draw a few broad stripes on the bottom half of the craft stick. Do both sides. On one side draw 2 eyes and a tiny mouth.
- Place three of the half pipe cleaners under the wooden craft stick. These will be the legs.
- One at a time, grab each pipe stem and give it two twists to attach it to the yellow craft stick. Try to do so tightly but a little wiggle room is okay.
- Shape each pair of legs. Create a bend about midway for the bees knee and then bend the very ends to make bee tarsi or feet.
- Take one of the clear velcro circles and cut it in half. Wrap a half around each one of the back legs of the bee you made. Somewhere between the knee joint and the foot. These will simulate pollen baskets.
- Use the opposing velcro circle on a small piece of yellow cloth. This is to simulate pollen. You can also use tiny yellow pom poms but I thought the cloth worked better for attachment.
- If you wish – go ahead and wrap the yellow cloth pieces (pollen) around the back legs. Only do the back two legs – that is the only place bees have baskets.
- Cut a small 3 inch piece of black pipe stem and bend it in half. Use your hot glue gun to glue these (bee antenna) to the back of the bee body.
- If you wish, give your bee wings. Use the provided template (link in materials list in post)- print out on paper and draw on a few black lines to simulate veins. Use the hot glue gun to attach to back of bee body.