1st Grade Students Complete “The 4-H Busy World of Bees”

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Cherokee County 4-H volunteer and Master Gardener, Arleene Ward, just wrapped up an eight lesson series from our 4-H Busy World of Bees with 86 first graders at Murphy Elementary School. Arleene is great in the classroom with our students and loves to teach about our honey bees and other pollinators. Arleene is a retired teacher and has a great disposition with the students when helping them in the classroom. If you are interested in becoming a 4-H School Enrichment volunteer in Cherokee County, please contact me, Shannon Coleman, at shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu or call, 828-837-2210 ext. 4.

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Students were introduced to honey bees and other pollinators in Lesson 1. They learned about the environmental impact of pollution and other limiting factors on our pollinator populations through the Tangle of Life game. Lesson 1 also had the students talking about the foods they eat and how a pollinator can help those foods to grow and produce. In Lesson 2, students learned about the bees body parts and about how and why we classify an insect as an insect. We also learned about the differences in bees and wasp. Twidth="300" height="225" he students created their own bee life cycle book in Lesson 3 which they wrote and illustrated. The students also sang the Life Cycle song that makes it fun to learn about the metamorphosis process. Lesson 4, is when I come in with our empty bee hive and our bee veil to talk about the homes humans supply for the honey bees as well as other homes that bees live in, covering wood nesting and ground nesting bees and insects. Lesson 5 is split into two sessions one where the students learn about flower parts and how they are pollinated as well as bee communication and the second session is honey tasting. Mrs. Arleene takes the reigns back for the bee communication dancing of the Waggle and Round Dance. While the students are learning about honey bee communication, they are playing a nectar gathering game and  width="128" height="300"wiggling their way to and from their classroom hive. Then I come back in with honey from different sources and great honey tasting session. Lesson 6 teaches youth about habitats and environmental stewardship and each of the students plant a squash seed to take home for our local pollinators to enjoy when it grows. Our wrap up is with Lesson 7 and the youth learn about things in the environment that causes problems with the bee population and they make a bee stewardship bracelet with each of the colors representing different things health bees need.

We also include a visit from local bee keepers, Mitch and Darlene Myers, with D & M Apiaries. They bring an observation frame with a marked queen so the students can see the bees in action in a safe manner. The students can see eggs being laid by the queen, workers feeding the larva, and new bees emerging from their wax cell ready to go to work. The student love to see the bees and see what they have been learning about throughout their 7 lessons.

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Cherokee County 4-H loves to partner with Cherokee County teachers and schools to bring 4-H School Enrichment programs to the classroom. 4-H School Enrichment is a sequence of learning experiences for groups of youth, in cooperation with school officials during school hours to support the school curriculum. We have many 4-H school enrichment programs that we can offer local teachers to enhance their classroom learning opportunities in the true 4-H hands-on “learn by doing” approach.

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For more information about 4-H Clubs or 4-H School Enrichment in Cherokee County, contact Shannon Coleman, at shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu or call, 828-837-2210 ext. 4.