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Bees and Wasps

Know your enemy!

by Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Key Stage 1/2


To learn about bees and wasps, so you can recognize your enemy!

Preparation and materials


1.How many of you here today are frightened when you hear a buzzing sound near you?

Take a show of hands.

I know I always take a careful look at an insect if it’s buzzing near me – it might be a wasp! Why am I wary of wasps?

Take an answer

Yes, because a wasp might sting me and that hurts.

This is what a wasp looks like.

Show image of wasp.

2. There are lots of little buzzing creatures that we might think are wasps, but they’re not.  What are they called?

Take answers again

Yes, bees buzz, too, and there are lots of different sorts of bees that we find in the garden. What are they called?

Take answers again. Note that there are more than 20 types of bumblebee in the UK.

Today, though, we’re going to concentrate on just two types of bees – bumblebees and honeybees. This is what a bumblebee looks like.

Show image of bumblebee and point out that it has a fluffy coat.

Why do you think they’re called bumblebees? Would anyone like to do an impression of a bumblebee? They’re rather lovely little things.

3. Show image of honeybee.

This is a honeybee. This type of bee is the sort that many people keep in special containers called hives. 

Why are they called honeybees?

Take answers.

4. Now, here’s the difficult question. Which one of these will sting you?

Take answers.

5. All of them could sting you, in fact, but if a bumblebee or honeybee were to sting you, it would die. Only wasps can sting you then fly away and carry on with their lives. So, bumblebees and honeybees would much rather fly away and leave you alone than sting you!

6. As we head towards late summer, wasps become more aggressive – what does that mean?

Take answers.

It means that they are more likely to sting you. So, what should we do if a wasp comes into our classroom or flies about and lands on our picnic or starts to buzz around us? Should we start to scream and panic, like this (demonstrate)?

No, we should do what? We should get up and move away quietly, like this (demonstrate).

7. It’s important that we don’t kill bumblebees or honeybees as they are very important in the life of plants, enabling us to enjoy fruit and vegetables. We get honey from bees, too! In fact, bees are great little insects and we should treasure them.

Maybe in your garden or the school grounds, we could set up a bee hotel before the winter, then they’ll have somewhere safe to sleep while it’s cold. Then they will be able to survive and we’ll see them next year.

8. So, if there’s a bee in the classroom or at home, get an adult to carefully catch it in a cup and cover the cup with card or paper, then it can be released outside without harming it.

If there is a wasp in your classroom or in a room at home, leave it alone and get an adult to deal with it. 

Time for reflection

Show the images again.

Let’s spend a few moments thinking about the joy that bees bring to us, with their buzzing sound, and the way they make honey that tastes so good.

So, let’s say ‘thank you’ for bees – and even wasps – and the summer weather that we all enjoy.


‘From the tiny ant’ (Come and Praise, 79)

Publication date: July 2015   (Vol.17 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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