Lesson Ideas

Build a habitat for healthy bees – a hands-on lesson

Are you looking for a STEM project that incorporates creativity and life science all into one? Do you want your students to learn more about pollinators and their habitats? This lesson allows students to analyze what makes a successful bee habitat

Part 1. Background Information

A habitat is where an organism naturally lives. Students can think of this as an organism’s address, it’s home. The habitat is very important for the organism’s survival. Some organisms prefer very specific types of habitats, while others can live in a wide variety of habitats. Each organism also fills a specific role in the ecosystem. This is called an organism’s niche. A niche includes both the abiotic and biotic factors that play a role in the survival of an organism. 
Introduce students to the idea of habitat loss, which is a major problem for organisms across the globe. This is especially a problem for bees, which are important pollinators and give humans many different ecosystem services.

Part 2. Introductory Videos

Have students watch this video and jot down ideas that they learn about the warbler’s habitat.

Have students watch this video about bumble bee decline and habitat loss.

Part 3. Reading Activity

Students should read the article, “What kind of habitats keep bees healthy” in Science Journal for Kids about this research. In this paper, researchers analyzed different bees from different habitats for pathogens to determine what makes a habitat the most suitable for bees. Have students answer the questions and discuss as a class. 

Part 4. Hands-on Activities

The students will need this worksheet and rubric. They will design and build a habitat that is suitable for bees. After creating their habitats, they will describe their designs to the class. This can be done outdoors (with a real habitat) or indoors with other supplies.

That’s not all! 

Check out the citizen science activities at the end of the lesson. Find other articles about bees, animal behavior and biodiversity and conservation on our site.

Happy science exploration!

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