Grapevine and Olive Shoots

growing in grace and knowledge.

The Bee Tree

on August 9, 2014

Our second “row” of the year was “The Bee Tree,” by Patricia Polacco.  We had a great time with this one, mostly because it included the consumption of honey…every. single. day.  But we also really lucked out, in that a friend/neighbor is an amateur beekeeper — so we got an up-close tour of his apiary.

The Bee Tree

This is the story of a young girl, who is bored with reading, and her grandfather, who teaches her that reading and chasing bees to their tree can be remarkably similar — the fruits of one’s efforts are sweet indeed.

Bible/Character Study

Almost every day, we found a new Bible verse comparing the Word to honey.  Here’s a “sweet” notebooking page we put together from Psalm 119:


 Language Arts

Polacco used onomatopoeia as a literary device, and Peanut really enjoyed coming up with word-sounds of her own (and conquering the pronunciation of said device!).




Since honeycomb cells are hexagonal, we expanded our knowledge of this shape, including how to draw one and how to use pattern blocks (paper ones for the notebooking page below) to create them.  We also continued with the Life of Fred, Lesson 2, which Peanut wanted to do over and over.  So we did.



This week focused on the life cycle and work of bees.  The Magic School Bus series has a fantastic book about this; most of our learning came from this as well as from our resident beekeeper.  [There is also a Magic School Bus TV episode available on Netflix, but honestly it lacked major portions of knowledge, so I’m glad we read the book first.]  We learned how bees dance to inform their coworkers where to find flowers with nectar and did some of the crazy dances ourselves.  We also learned that the delicious honey we love to eat is actually bee vomit (okay, there’s a lot more to it than that)!

Speaking of beekeepers, we are so grateful to our friend for his hive tour…here are a few snapshots of our field trip.

Old frames:

2014-07-19 14.16.50

Peanut holding old beeswax, which she got to take home and put into her notebook:

2014-07-19 14.17.38

All geared up to visit the hives!

2014-07-19 14.20.07

Smoking the bees to calm them down (apparently it makes them want to eat honey, which has a soporific effect).  He said they’re usually not very aggressive.

2014-07-19 14.24.36

A very active frame;  both honey and larvae are inside the cells.  The white portions have been capped.  Amazing fact: the cells are not only all perfect hexagons, but they are slightly tilted downwards so that the honey will not spill out.

2014-07-19 14.26.04

Peanut being VERY brave and checking out the frames up close:

2014-07-19 14.29.19

Like many of my FIAR posts, I’m only presenting highlights of the week — there is always a lot more behind-the-scenes learning that goes on that I have neither time nor inclination to capture with a camera.  Fortunately the hive tour gave us some pretty awesome photo ops. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: