Life Cycle of a Bee: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:00 Life Cycle of a Bee:…
  • 1:09 The Pupa and Adult Bee Stages
  • 1:45 Types of Bees
  • 3:20 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Kristina Washington-Morris

Kristina has taught a variety of elementary classes and has a master's degree in elementary education.

Have you ever tasted honey? Honey is made by bees. Hard to believe those tiny buzzing insects can make something so delicious. Let's explore the life cycle of bees and see how much work goes into making honey.

Life Cycle of a Bee: Eggs and Larva

Have you ever heard the phrase 'busy as a bee?' Do you know what it means? In this lesson, we'll look at the stages of the bee's life cycle to find out what makes bees so busy.

There are three types of bees: queens, workers, and drones. Each lead different lives, but they all start as eggs. A single, long, white egg is laid inside a beehive cell or small honeycomb hole. The eggs are tinier than a single grain of rice. About three days pass before they hatch.

Once hatched, bees stay in their cells and begin the larva stage. The larva looks like a small, white worm. Larvae are like hungry babies that need to be cared for all day and night long. They are fed royal jelly, a special white fluid made by worker bees. After a couple days of royal jelly, the larvae are fed beebread. This isn't actually bread, just a mix of honey and pollen.

Toward the end of this stage, the bee's cell is capped with wax. It's like closing the door to your bedroom. This allows the bee to enter the next stage of its life.

The Pupa and Adult Bee Stages

After one to two weeks, larvae enter the pupa stage. While inside the closed cell, the bee begins to pupate. This is the process of transformation from a worm-like larva into a flying adult bee. Once the bee completes transformation and has a body, head, and wings, it is ready to emerge from its cell.

When the pupa leaves its cell, it is officially an adult bee. It's like college graduation for bees! It's during this stage that the three types of bees lead very different lives. They each have specific jobs to make sure the hive stays strong and healthy.

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