Early summer is the perfect time of year to enjoy bees buzzing and pollinating our gardens. Make your own version to carry with you as you check out the bees’ busy work.
Cardboard toilet paper roll
Black and yellow paint
Black pipe cleaners
Small screwdriver (or something to poke holes in your cardboard tube)
1. Paint the outside of the toilet paper roll yellow. You might need a couple coats. After it is dry, paint a few black stripes around it. Set it aside until it is completely dry.
2. To make your bee body, fold down two sides on the end of the toilet paper roll, then press the other two sides together. Staple the end shut.
3. Repeat on the other end of the toilet paper roll, but add a piece of pipe clean before stapling shut. This is your bee’s stinger.
4. Using a small pointy screwdriver or something similar, poke three holes on each side of the bee. Put black pipe cleaners through the holes to make the legs of the bee.
5. Poke two holes on the top of the bee body, near the front of the face. Place black pipe cleaners in the holes for the antennae.
6. Cut bee wings out of newspaper.
7. Finish your bee by gluing the wings and googly eyes into place.
Did you know bees have excellent vision? Some flowers attract bees by putting “landing pad arrows” on their petals, pointing right to the pollen. We can’t see them, because the bees use ultraviolet vision. What looks like a plain white flower to us is a neon sign flashing “Dinner time!” to bees.
You can make a flower or two for your bee with these steps.
White paper (or whatever color you want for your flower)
Black light (preferably portable)
1. Cut out a flower shape from white paper.
2. Paint the center of the flower yellow so it looks like pollen. Allow to fully dry.
3. Dab a cotton swab or your finger with laundry detergent, then use it to apply stripes toward the center of the flower.
4. Go outside after dark or to a dark room with your bee and flower. Turn on your black light, and look at the landing pad arrows light up!