This week marks the completion of a series I taught in conjunction with my local library. “Bitty Bees” is an introduction to bees and pollination for preschoolers, and my! I’m not sure who can buzz more with excitement, a group of small children or a bunch of bees!
When teaching any group about honey bees, I think it’s interesting to start with the anatomy and physiology of the insect. When we study a body, we learn what they can do. For instance, the honey bee has four wings, so she may fly!
I taught the children about honey bee eyes. Two large compound eyes on the sides of her head help identify patterns and shapes—a useful trait for navigating her way home and for recognition of plants and other bees. The three eyes on top of her head (called ocelli eyes) detect light. When a bee is gathering pollen and nectar on a flower, a shadow above her may indicate a dangerous predator.
Kids love to hear how honey bees have two stomachs. One for normal digestive purposes, the other (the “honey gut”) is used to hold nectar and water. With her extra stomach, she can transport her groceries back to the hive. This is the part of the class where we pat our imaginary honey guts and look more like silly ol’ Pooh Bears than honey bees.
When I think about these amazing creations, it’s obvious to me that each was intentionally crafted. And I’m not talking about the bees… I mean the little people! Purposeful creation—nothing was overlooked.
Billy Graham once said, “God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.” It seems the late Rev. Graham likes to explain purpose and abilities through a thoughtful look at anatomy, as well.
Each bee has ingrained within it the task and potential—the purpose—for creating honey. May we go about each day with intentions so sweet.
Neena Gaynor is a Kentucky wife, mother, daughter and beekeeper who does life in Owensboro. She also writes on her blog at www.wordslikehoney.com. and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.