As many students start heading back to school, virtually, they are spending more time on devices and less time outside exploring. That goes for teachers as well. Screen time is at an all-time high, especially since we’ve been socially distancing the last six months. If you’re a teacher struggling to find ways to teach your students about bees in a virtual setting, Beepods can help.
“How so?” you may ask. “Isn’t Beepods just a beekeeping company?” Hang tight fellow educators, in this blog we’ll discuss how Beepods’ online education tools support virtual learning while getting your students offline.
At Beepods, bee education is important to us. That is why we designed the Beepods Beekeeping System to be a great education tool. However, we know that not everyone has a Beepod and that gaining access to one at the moment is difficult. That is where Beepods Lab comes in.
With a Beepods Lab membership you’ll gain access to the tools to create virtual lesson plans based on our training videos, extensive education modules, and engaging activities for students grades K-12. You won’t have to dig through the internet to find the right activities you want to share with your class. Beepods has it all in Lab. It even includes a Beekeeping with Kids execution plan to help you get started. These valuable resources don’t require you to have a Beepod. There are plenty of lessons and activities you can use to help your student get offline and outside for a while.
For example, one of the best outdoor activities Beepods Lab offers is the Bee Educated Scavenger Hunt. Ask your students to explore
their yard, neighborhood, or nearby park (with a parent/guardian). Have them take pictures of pollinators, flowers, and bee habitat. They can then share the pictures with the class virtually. Have them write about how being outside made them feel and about their favorite part of the scavenger hunt. Make sure you get a screen break as well and participate in the scavenger hunt yourself! Students will love seeing your scavenger hunt pictures, too.
One of the lessons your students will learn is that in order for a beehive to be successful, it needs to be properly sited in a yard. A successful hive needs to be mostly in the sun. The entrance to the hive should face east so that it gets sunlight as soon as possible. A hive should be near a good source of forage and out of the direct wind so the bees don’t get blown around.
All of this can be learned virtually using the Bee Yard Setup Execution Plan. After teaching this to your students, use the The Bee Yard Setup and Siting Blueprint, and have your students go outside and find the perfect place to site a hive in their yard. They will have to pay attention to where the sun moves throughout the day, which parts of their yard are safe from the wind, and find out if there is a good source of forage nearby.
Ask your students to present their findings by drawing their yard, the direction the sun moves, and which direction the bees have to travel to find forage. Show them the drawing of your yard, too. Compare and contrast which yards seem best for a beehive. Your students will enjoy this creative outdoor activity all while learning about natural habitat around them.
Virtual learning isn’t ideal, but there are plenty of resources to keep kids engaged and having fun while learning. Students still have the opportunity to get out of the house and explore. A Beepods Lab membership is an excellent tool for virtual education. Using online resources, students learn the basics about honey bees and other pollinators, and can apply this knowledge to real world applications. These activities are a perfect combination of online and offline learning.