Bees, Please! Learn About Bees

Did you know that many bees build their own homes? Honeybees make hives by chewing on wax, spitting it out and forming it into walls. Learn more about bees and build a simple paper tube colony to help attract friendly mason bees to an outdoor area near your home. Librarian Allison from Edgewater Branch shares the buzz about bees with these books and activities.

Here's The Thing About Bees: they may be a little scary because of their stingers, but we need them to enjoy some of our favorite fruits, not to mention their delicious honey. When we try to understand the things that scare us, what we learn can help us not be so afraid. Share this poem about bees and love with your family over a sweet bee-assisted treat like berries or melon.

Read more about why bees are absolutely essential for our environment! Truly, You Wouldn't Want to Live Without Bees!

Learn about the role bees have played in different cultures, from ancient Egypt to present day in Bees: A Honeyed History.

Now that you've read and learned more about bees, you shouldn't be (too) afraid of bees, so go ahead and Give Bees A Chance!

Use the University of Illinois's BeeSpotter project to learn to identify different types of bees in our state. Then, explore more in-depth about bee anatomy and test yourself by spotting real bees versus bee mimics!

Learn how bees communicate with each other through specific movements that look like dancing—and try out some of the “dances” yourself!

Use recycled household objects to build a colony for mason bees—this is helpful for these gentle superpollinators, the community and our environment.

Reflect on Your Learning

  • If you were a bee, what kinds of places would you seek out as a site to build your beehive?
  • How is a beehive similar to a city (or any group of people)?