A queen bee is surrounded by worker bees on the comb.

The Bee Advocate

Student activity from the article “The Bee Advocate” from the Jan/Feb. 2008 Our Ohio magazine.

Watch an Our Ohio television series video about bees on YouTube.

Academic Content Standard
(Science: Grade 3): Life Sciences: Students demonstrate an understanding of how living systems function and how they interact with the physical environment. Students also develop a deeper understanding of the principles of the diversity and interdependence of life.

(Note: Key terms used from Ohio’s Academic Content Standards are in bold below).

Discussion points

  • Read the article “The Bee Advocate ” to and with your student in the Our Ohio magazine.
  • As you read, pay close attention to the characteristics and the activities of the bees.
  1. What does the beekeeper say about the importance of the sounds bees make?
  2. Why do the bees fly from the smoke?
  3. What is the life cycle of a bee? (Hint: do a Web search for “Bee Life Cycle”) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee_life_cycle
  4. Why is the queen of a bee hive so important to the survival of the colony?
  5. What is the difference between a wild queen bee versus one that is not wild?
  6. Survival skills are important to any animal, bees included. What body structures are specific to bees that allow them to: obtain food, escape from enemies, hide from enemies
  7. Describe a bee’s body covering and body structure.
  8. What is the benefit of a honey bee collecting food to a beekeeper?
  9. All people benefit from the activity of a honey bee. Explain why.
  10. Explain how the changes in the honey bee’s habitat have been harmful.
  11. According to this article, what has the loss of hives been caused by?
  12. Explain why “we all need bees.”

Hands on at Home or School

  1. Define apiarist.
  2. Research how honey is taken from the honey comb and bottled for use. Is this something that can be done at home? Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey
  3. The beekeeper in this article says that honey keeps him healthy. Why do you think this may be true? Fact or opinion?
  4. Seek out honey in a comb and examine the comb and how the honey fills it.
  5. Taste test honey from your grocery store, note from where it was imported, and honey that is locally produced and sold at a farmer’s market. Which do you prefer?


  1. Economics: What does honey have to do with the Ohio economy according to this article?
  2. Economics: Why is it a serious situation when the beekeeper loses hives and has to purchase more hives?
  3. Science: Why would he want to “send samples to a lab in Maryland?” What could the lab tell him?
  4. Honey activities for teachers and kids: National Honey Board: http://www.honey.com
  5. Geography: Find Wapakoneta on an Ohio map.
  6. Honey recipes from the National Honey Board: http://www.honey.com
  7. Apiary Section: Ohio Department of Agriculture: http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/plant/apiary/apiary.aspx

This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.